This statement is made in response to the announcement that under new government agriculture subsidies, farmers and landowners in England could be paid to turn large areas of land into nature reserves, or to restore floodplains.
“LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) welcomes the announcement that the government has launched two new environmental land management schemes to reward farmers and landowners alongside the Sustainable Farming Initiative.
“It is encouraging to see that the government is not only committed to nature recovery, and delivering net zero, but also supporting farmers in transforming farming systems to meet the challenges of climate change. If we are to deliver more sustainable and resilient food production, then we must halt and reverse biodiversity loss. The real value will be to work with farmers encouraging peer to peer learning and valuable experiences such as with the LEAF Demonstration Network.
“For three decades, LEAF has been advocating and leading the way in developing and promoting more nature based, integrated and circular farming solutions - which reduce carbon emissions, build healthier and more resilient soils, and deliver better air and water quality. We are extremely proud that on-average LEAF Marque farmers dedicate 13% of farm land to habitat areas, which work alongside productive agriculture to boost biodiversity and enhance our precious ecosystems. With the right Integrated Farm Management systems in place, it is possible to protect and enhance wildlife habitats and ecosystems while still delivering sufficient, sustainable food for all.
“Whilst the details of the schemes are still to be clarified, they represent a significant turning point for farmers and the farming industry, which has already made huge advances in restoring and regenerating habits. They offer a great opportunity to accelerate and scale up what has already been achieved in order to build a stronger and more robust natural environment that protects our valuable ecosystems.”