Today the Government publishes its Agriculture Bill. The recovery of wildlife in the UK – one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world – depends on an Agriculture Bill which enables farmers to create and restore natural habitats. The Wildlife Trusts believe that now is the time for agricultural policy to lead nature’s recovery. As the Bill progresses through Parliament, The Wildlife Trusts will be making its case as follows:
- The recovery of wildlife in the UK depends on an Agriculture Bill which enables farmers to create and restore natural habitats, because 70 per cent of our land is farmed.
- Farmers should receive public money for producing benefits to society, such as creating habitats for wildlife, conserving soils for future generations and protecting communities against flooding.
- Successful farms need thriving wildlife because crops depend on pollination, natural pest control and healthy soils.
Agriculture policy does not have to choose between wildlife versus food production. Farming that works with nature makes sense – for now and for the future.
Ellie Brodie, Senior Policy Manager of The Wildlife Trusts, says: “We support the Agriculture Bill’s intention to change how taxpayers’ money will be spent towards environmental ‘public goods’. Spending on these is vital if we are to restore uplands to hold water and prevent flooding in towns, create new wildflower meadows for pollinators and improve the fortunes of farmland wildlife like barn owls and brown hares. However, we need an ambitious Bill to arrest decades of wildlife decline and allow natural ecosystems to recover.”