CPRE responds to the agriculture bill

16 January 2020

CPRE, the countryside charity, has today welcomed the publication of a new agriculture bill – a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change the way England farms for the better.
This bill represents a radical rethink of farming practice and, most importantly for CPRE, finally starts to recognise the need to regenerate soil – the fundamental building blocks of our entire agricultural system.

For almost all our food, we rely on rain falling on a thin layer of soil which is often only a few centimetres thick. But soil is fragile and faces significant pressures.

In a notable change from the bill published in 2018, the government will now provide support for farmers to improve the management of their soil, as recommended in CPRE’s report Back to the land.

Crispin Truman, chief executive of CPRE, the countryside charity, said:

‘This agriculture bill has been a long time coming but it’s clear the government has listened to CPRE’s message about the importance of soil. Healthy soil is essential for the supply of healthy food, clean water and also helps us lock up carbon to tackle the climate and nature emergency.

‘As new payment schemes for farmers are developed, there must be clear support for approaches already being pioneered and made to work by farmers such as agroforestry and conservation agriculture. But farmers need training, mentoring and advice to help them roll out nature-friendly farming across the countryside.’

Please call our Media Relations Lead, Jonathan Jones, on 020 7981 2819 / 078 3529 1907 for further information.