General News

General News

First issue of Natural England's Land Management Update

To read Natural England's new newsletter, keeping farmers, stakeholders and land managers up-to-date on Environmental Stewardship and Land Management click here.

Plan to slash red tape unveiled

RICHARD Macdonald’s farming red tape task force has challenged the Government to ‘establish an entirely new culture of regulation’ to ease the burden on farmers.

The former NFU director general’s long awaited Farming Regulation Task Force report was formally presented to Farming Minister Jim Paice today.

Containing around 214 recommendations, it lays out a new model of regulation that, if adopted by Ministers, could have a profound impact on the way farming businesses operate in future.

EFRA Report: The CAP after 2013

The House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee has published its report into the future of the CAP after 2013. The report criticised the plans for the ‘greening’ of the SPS as an unnecessary complication within the CAP. It also questioned DEFRA’s stance of pushing for the abolition of direct aid. The Committee stated that it should remain until at least 2020,
and that DEFRA would not be ‘credible or effective’ in negotiations if it adopted such an extreme position.

Commons and Pillar 1 Support post-2013

The Defra Commons Team invited comments on a paper they submitted to the National Common Land Stakeholder Group's meeting on 23 May 2011, as a basis for discussion about the future of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Pillar 1 support in relation to common land, and particularly actively grazed upland commons, in England.

The read the Federation's response click on the link below.

To download a copy of the Defra paper, click on the link below.

Sustainable Management of UK Peatlands

UK peatlands provide society with a wide range of “ecosystem services”: In good condition, they help regulate our climate, provide clean water, reduce downstream flood risk, support wildlife and provide us all with wild, open spaces in which to roam and escape. However, many peatlands have been damaged by former activities such as drainage and over-grazing.Sustainable management is essential to maintain the wide range of benefits that peatlands provide.

Results of Commons Council Consultation

The results of the voting show that there is considerable support for a Cumbria Commons Council.  Fourteen local associations voted YES. They are:

Common Land Toolkit

These documents provide practical guidance for those involved with common land which remains under practical agricultural management by farmers and commoners. They can be used by practitioners seeking the sustainable management of commons to provide the widest possible range of public benefits.
 
The documents provide background information on commons, technical and legal aspects relating to commons and defining or constraining their management, and help for those involved with management.The toolkit provides 20 Fact Sheets and Guidance Notes.
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Defra Uplands Policy Review

The conclusions of the Uplands Policy Review were launched at Newton Rigg agricultural college on March 10th. Caroline Spellman, the Secretary of State said:

“England’s upland communities face difficult challenges, as do other remote parts of rural England, yet these are places with a remarkable range of human and natural assets and they can have a bright future. I am determined that these areas will not be overlooked and that is why I will champion their interests right from the centre of Government.

Influential committee of MPs calls government to show a stronger commitment to hill farming and upland rural communities.

The House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Afairs Select Committee made the call in a report Farming in the Uplands published on Wednesday 16 February.

The report calls on ministers to publish a strategy that sets out a clear action plan for the uplands with practical measures to be implemented immediately. It states that increasing hill farm incomes and efficiency should be Defra’s “first priority”.

Future of Food and Farming

Read the executive summary of the report of the Foresight project, ‘The Future of Food and Farming: Challenges and choices for global sustainability’ published by the Government Office for Science.

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