Farmers are being urged to make sure they have their say over Government plans to overhaul agricultural policy.
The Environmental Land Management Scheme, proposed by Defra, has been created to encourage sustainable farming practices.
It means farmers and landowners will be paid for work that improves the environment.
It is the first substantial UK specific agricultural legislation for more than 40 years and looks to be the keystone to Britain’s 21st century farming strategy and fight against the climate crisis.
A consultation has been launched and Nick Mullins, rural surveyor with H&H Land & Estates, said it was vitally important that people shared their views.
Mr Mullins said: “We would encourage all farmers to get involved and make a response to this consultation, as it is a forum where they can highlight their concerns and ideas. Due to the planned phasing out of the Basic Payment Scheme, ELMs will be the only means by which farmers can receive government financial support, so it is vital that they make the most of this opportunity to be empowered and influence.
“H&H Land & Estates is submitting a response to the consultation to ensure that the important issues of agriculture, food production and the environment are covered in ELMs, as well as delivering effective administration and management of the schemes themselves.”
The scheme also promotes measures to minimise impacts of climate change, including flood mitigation, tree planting and soil conservation.
The policy aims to position agri-businesses at the forefront of reversing environmental declines and tackling climate change in plans to reshape the future of farming.
The Government has provided a seven-year transition for phasing out existing subsidy schemes and transitioning to the new schemes.
If the Agricultural Bill is passed, Basic Payment Scheme Subsidies will start to be phased out from next year, fully ending in 2027. ELMs will then begin with a national pilot in 2021, with the new schemes projected to be available from 2024.
Mr Mullins added: “It is likely that ELMs will not provide the same level of support as farmers have received under the Basic Payment Scheme.
“Therefore, it is sensible for farmers to prepare their businesses now for the changes that we will see over the next few years in terms of available support schemes. Going forward, the sector as a whole is increasingly understanding nature’s role as foundational to our economy, and our health and well-being.”
The consultation closes on Tuesday, 21st July.