Campaign to Protect Rural England Standing up for your countryside

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Take action for the future of farming

Take action for the future of farming

Farming is changing

For the past 40 years, the European Union (EU) has set our farming policy. The Government is consulting on what the new, national policy should be when we leave the EU, what it should aim to achieve and how we should support our farmers.

This is the first time we’ve been able to decide these things at a national level. This means we have an exciting opportunity to tell the Government what we’d like to see. These policies have a huge impact on the countryside, rural communities and our beautiful landscapes, so it’s vitally important that they get this right.

Previous approaches have seen a decline in the quality and diversity of our landscapes, and a decline in the number of farms, impacting rural communities and the resilience of the sector. But we a chance have to change this, and make sure Government policy supports a beautiful and living countryside that is valued and enjoyed by everyone.

The Campaign

The government is changing the way farmers receive public funding. They’re planning to reward farmers for the public benefits they deliver, instead of making payments based on the area of land that is farmed.  These benefits include better air, water and soil quality, improved wildlife and improved access to the countryside. We support this approach, and we are signatories to the Wildlife and Countryside Link policy briefing which sets out the case for this policy.  

But, the Government needs to go further to ensure the new policies enhance and protect our landscapes, and support our smaller farms.

What can you do?

You can make your voice heard and respond to the Government consultation by copying and pasting the below paragraph and emailing it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 8 May 2018.

I am writing in response to Defra’s landmark consultation on future farm policy ‘Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit’. As a supporter of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), I believe the new agricultural policy should contribute to a beautiful and living countryside that is valued and enjoyed by everyone, whilst producing high quality British produce from a diverse, and therefore resilient, farming system. I welcome this consultation, in particular the commitments to reversing environmental damage, linking public funding to the delivery of public benefits and maintaining high standards in trade agreements. I have the following specific comments:

  1. The Government should introduce measures which enhance landscapes, resulting in high quality landscapes all can access and enjoy.

Landscapes have declined in the last 70 years, becoming less varied and simplified. A lot of these changes have been driven by agricultural practices. Landscape protection and enhancement must be an objective of the new farming policy if that is to change.

  1. The Government helps develop a dynamic, innovative sector, accessible to new entrants, by developing measures which reverse the loss of farms in farm numbers.

Over recent decades, the number of farms in England has declined dramatically. This loss has an impact on rural communities and the countryside as well as farming itself. Measures should be put in place to help small and medium-sized family farms develop sustainable businesses that can thrive and innovate in the future.

Thank you for inviting us to comment and I look forward to hearing from you that my concerns have been taken into account.

If you want to add more detail, you can fill in the on-line questionnaire here, or you can use a form developed by the Sustain coalition (of which CPRE is a member) to send a short email to Michael Gove setting out what you’d like to see in the new policy.

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