Statement on Environmental Audit Committee report on the Future of the Natural Environment

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    We have a vision for our urban areas but none for the countryside

    Merrick Denton-Thompson President of the Artas-ua.info Institute said: 

    “BREXIT provides a great opportunity to have a clear vision for the future of our countryside but we need to radically transform how we relate to farming and food production.

    “It is reassuring that today’s (4 January 2017) Environmental Audit committee report, The Future of the Natural Environment after the EU Referendum, called for any future land management payments to be clearly linked to the public goods that are to be achieved rather than simply providing income support to farmers. I have long called for a National Rural Land Management Policy to be developed with an emphasis on the management of land to deliver benefits to both the public and landowners.

    “A new vision should support the farming community to secure sustainable food production in a countryside teeming with wildlife. A policy providing greater access for health and well being, including facilities for natural play for our children, the production of clean water, clean air, restored soils and renewable energy are just some of the many public benefits produced by a positive new vision.

    “We have a vision for our urban areas but none for the countryside and it is now down to the Government to respond and provide greater clarity on the future of the natural environment.”

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