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Scheme now covers 70pc of farmland
3:15pm Friday 1st February 2013 in Farming
A RECORD 6.5m hectares of England’s farmland – more than 70 per cent of the country’s available farmland – is now covered by Environmental Stewardship (ES) schemes.
There are more than 45,000 ES agreements in place. The schemes are managed by Natural England on behalf of Defra and support land management work that conserves wildlife and natural resources and improves public access.
NE’s advisers work with around 60,000 customers including farmers, conservation organisations, smallholders and commons associations and more than £400m is invested in environmental stewardship each year.
Poul Christensen, chairman, said: “The fact that well over two thirds of England’s farmland is now beingmanaged with the support of Environmental Stewardship is clear evidence of the commitment that land managers are making to help look after our countryside and wildlife.
Jim Egan, who chairs the CFE’s Delivery and Communications Group, said: “The majority of farmers and land managers view support for the natural environment as part and parcel of running productive farm businesses and the news that more than 70 per cent of England’s farmland is now covered by an agri-environment agreement is a very positive result.”