The chair designate of Natural England, Sir Martin Doughty, has become the latest figure to raise concerns over last year’s EU budget deal.

Natural England is the body that will have responsibility for conserving, enhancing and managing the natural environment from October 2006.

Sir Martin is understood to have written to the Prime Minister pointing out that if the deal results in British farmers’ single farm payments being cut by over a third – as reported by Farmers Weekly on 23 December – there will be environmental consequences.