31 October 1997

Agreement not to grow flax on SSSIs

GOVERNMENT and conservationists have welcomed a new industry protocol for flax, which aims to prevent the ploughing up of environmentally valuable land.

Flax contractors and processors have agreed that from next January no land of conservation value will be ploughed up and sowed with the crop (News, Oct 10).

Farm minister Jack Cunning-ham said he was delighted with the move, but said reform of the regime in Brussels was also needed.

And John Cousins, Wildlife Trusts agricultural campaigner, said he was pleased contractors had agreed not to accept contracts or claim EU aid on sites of special scientific interest, unimproved/ semi natural habitats and county wildlife sites.