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The future of farming and the countryside

The future of farming and the countryside Photo: © EMJAY SMITH/

Farming is shaped by policies, markets and technological change. It has been for centuries.

Post Second World War, farmers were paid to produce high levels of food to secure supply. With growing food mountains in the 1980s, policies moved to repair the environment after decades of more intensive farming had caused much damage to habitats and landscapes. But farming now faces multiple challenges to meet the rising demand for food while restoring lost and damaged nature. The challenges are global and local: in England we need the countryside for food and much besides, including minerals and energy, recreation and inspiring landscapes, wildlife and heritage.

Farming needs to evolve to meet these multiple challenges and demands and to become sustainable and resilient for the long term. It needs to become fit for a challenging future. It has the potential, but the Government must lead where the market cannot and provide incentives for sustainable farming to develop.

Numerous problems must be resolved in the farming system we have:

© Campaign to Protect Rural England, 5-11 Lavington Street, London, SE1 0NZ | Tel: 020 7981 2800 | Email: |

Registered charity number: 1089685, registered company number: 4302973

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