06 August 1998
Dirty farmers ruin the landscape

DUMPING and pollution is having a devastating effect on soil and threatens to destroy Englands picturesque landscapes, warns the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE).

The CPRE argues that only farmers who managed their soil responsibly should received agricultural support payments. It calls for a Soil Charter, and for the Government to take action to prevent the loss of a “vital living resource”.

Its recommendations follow research which found that the over-use of inorganic fertilisers is leaving soil vulnerable to water and wind erosion.

The chemicals are also leeching into underground water supplies. The leaking of sulphur dioxide and ammonia from agricultural and industrial sources is causing soil to be over-acidic in some areas.

The CPRE wants the Government to take tough action against polluters and dumpers and introduce measures to counteract soil erosion, as part of a Soil Protection Strategy due to be published later this year.

  • The Independent 06/08/98 page 3