Wildlife Trust responds to government’s farming plans

© Lucy Temple

We respond to the government's new proposals for agriculture policy once we leave the European Union

This week the Government published a new 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 highlighting that:

  • The recovery of wildlife in the UK depends on an Agriculture Bill which enables farmers to create and restore natural habitats, because around three quarters 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.
Wallop Brook farms receiving soil training

© Alison Cross

Working with farmers

We're already working with 19 west Hampshire farmers to take action for better wildlife habitats on a landscape scale, benefiting everyone who lives and works in the area.

This kind of model shows how with the right support, farming and nature can go hand in hand to create a wilder Britain

Read more

A spokesperson at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said: “We must do things differently if there is to be any hope of tipping the balance in favour of nature’s recovery.  This Agriculture Bill could and should play a pivotal role in securing a better future for both wildlife and Britain as a whole. 

“Around three quarters of the land across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is farmed. While many farmers care deeply for wildlife, agricultural policy over the years has rewarded intensive agricultural practices and contributed towards the devastating declines we have seen in so many species - from insects to mammals.  Today Britain is one of the most nature depleted nations in the world.  Getting the future of land management right couldn’t be more important at this point. 

“We fully support the move towards a funding regime that rewards farmers for public goods.  This could drive significant improvements in the quality of our air, our water and soil, helping to reduce flooding and offering much wider benefits to communities, as well as helping wildlife to recover.  The future funding model must value wildlife, communities and natural resources as highly as more traditional ‘produce’ and encourage innovative approaches, such as landscape-scale rewilding. 

“We know from working with local landowners - many of whom are already taking huge strides on their own towards wildlife-friendly farming - that there is a real appetite for this change.  We can do things differently and secure a sustainable and healthy future for farming and the environment.”