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Moorland Association welcomes launch of Defra consultation on the future of UK agricultural policy post Brexit

28th February 2018

Farmers, landowners and food producers have been awarded a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help shape the future of English farming and the environment, with a consultation launched yesterday by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

Defra’s consultation – Health and harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit – gives an indication of the Government’s current thinking on farming policy after Brexit, ahead of the Agriculture Bill, which will be put before parliament later this year.

The government’s proposals will see money redirected in a post-Brexit scenario from direct payments under the Common Agriculture Policy, which are based on the amount of land farmed, to a new system of paying farmers ‘public money for public goods’ – principally their work to maintain and enhance the environment and invest in sustainable food production.

Amanda Anderson, Director of the Moorland Association said: “The Moorland Association welcomes the publication of Defra’s consultation on the future of UK agricultural policy after Brexit.”

“As custodians of over a million acres of upland England open to all to enjoy, Moorland Association members are at the forefront of landscape-scale conservation work including significant peatland restoration initiatives, flood and wildfire mitigation, carbon sequestration, clean water provision and biodiversity gains that buck national trends.”

“We welcome the Government’s commitment to a new environmental land management system which should harness farmers’ and land managers’ passion and motivation to maintain and improve healthy ecosystems that secure their own business objectives and deliver public benefits. This system will have the greatest chance of success if it is designed from the bottom up and is local to each area where priorities and outcomes can be agreed with those actively involved in managing the land.”

“We look forward to contributing to the consultation and working with Defra and our partners in the Uplands Alliance to secure mutually beneficial farming policy outcomes in a post-Brexit environment.”

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Did You Know?

75% of of the world’s remaining heather moorland is found in Britain – but this area declined alarmingly over the latter part of the last century. The Moorland Association was set up in 1986 to coordinate the efforts of moorland owners and managers to halt this loss, particularly in England and Wales.

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