Farmers care about the environment. It’s their workplace and their backyard; they are acutely aware of their responsibility to protect the soil, water courses and the food they produce.
For many years, 70% of farmers have been participating very successfully in the government’s environmental schemes, with payments dependent on meeting strict standards relating to public, animal and plant health, environment, climate change, good condition of land and animal welfare. The government guidelines for this scheme are publicly available.
Unfortunately, the new environmental scheme currently being initiated by the government is not only extremely complicated to apply for and comply with, it is also potentially expensive. Consequently, far fewer farmers have so far signed up to it.
If the government wants farmers to participate in protecting and enhancing the environment, they need to ensure that they don’t make it too difficult!