English farmers are to be paid to help restore natural habitats in part of their land. This plan is aimed at rewilding Britain that the government hopes will fill the gap created by EU subsidies. An announcement of the dual schemes was made by George Eustice, the Environmental Secretary at the Oxford Farming Conference.
English farmers will use these taxpayers’ money for nature projects initiated by the British government. This will cause vast areas of land to be converted to conserve threatened species, revive the health of streams and rivers, and create wildlife habitats. The fund will help reforest areas and restore wetlands and peats.
Another scheme named the Landscape Recovery Scheme is aimed at returning the countryside in Britain to the wild.
English Farmers Will Be Benefit From A System Of Incentives And Rewards
English farmers and landowners are expected to be eligible for the scheme. Groups that control between 500 and 5,000 hectares will also be part of the scheme. The scheme will begin with funding for 15 projects. Mr. Eustice stated that profitable and successful agricultural production is vital to the food security of the nation.
He said that the country was facing issues such as climate change and loss of biodiversity. He claimed that the freedom from EU agricultural policy (EU CAP) afforded Britain to establish a novel system of incentives and rewards to English Farmers.
The government plans to halt the decline in the loss of British species by the end of the decade and restore 300,000 hectares of land by the 40s.
Move Criticized For Concentration On Rewilding Rather Than Food Sufficiency
Farming industry opponents have been fiercely critical of the move and said that it could lead to converting agricultural land to forests while ignoring the need to increase domestic food production and ensure self-sufficiency.
There are also concerns that this move will benefit the wealthy farmers and landowners and not the hundreds of tenants who comprise over 50% of English Farmers.
The pilot projects are expected to cover totally around 10,000 hectares in the first phase of 2 years. That is around 10 times the size of London’s Richmond Park.
The projects are expected to involve full rewilding and also focus on rare species and habitats. Rare species include water voles, sand lizards, and various birds will be protected with a target of protecting around 50% of the threatened British species.
The exact amount and nature of funding are yet to be disclosed. Offers will be considered to determine their value before a concluding decision is taken on how best to go ahead this summer. by 2028 the final amount allocated to English farmers under this scheme is likely to touch £700 million to £800 million (around $960 million to $1,100 million).
The government plans to extend the coverage to 300,000 hectares in England through such ‘landscape recovery’ projects. That is an area around the size of Lancashire.
English farmers can also expect monetary support for nature recovery at a local scale. This action at the local level entails restoring wetlands and peatlands, planting additional trees, and creating space for threatened wildlife. The actual allocation for projects of this nature will be publicized this year but could go up to £800 million by 2028.
The secretary said that the plan was for nature and wildlife protection that will run parallel to food production. He said that the local farms can produce nourishing food and support a developing rural economy and at the same time support nature through the increase in woodland, and better quality of air and water, he said that there was the need to create greater space in nature and stop the destruction of plant and animal species.