20 November 1998

Conservation plea

NFU deputy president Tony Pexton has called on the government to provide the cash for a significant expansion of agri-environment schemes.

As part of the unions British Farm Conservation Week, Mr Pexton said the extra money was needed to deal with the over-subscription for the various schemes.

The union says twice as many farmers want to join programmes like Countryside Stewardship compared with the places available. It adds that, during the past three years, more than 3000 applications have been rejected. An additional £20m for the scheme would have allowed those farmers to take part. &#42