06 November 1998
English Nature wants greener CAP reform

By FWi staff

THE Governments conservation policy adviser wants Common Agricultural Policy reform to give more support to conservation schemes.

English Nature told the House of Commons agriculture committee on CAP reform that existing reform proposals under Agenda 2000 still gave too much support to subsidy payments.

English Nature chairman Baroness Young said the countryside stewardship scheme was 50% oversubscribed. Other schemes had been closed because there was a lack of funds, she said.

Baroness Young said the CAP failed to promote viable agriculture, did not help the environment and did not aid social development.

A linked policy was needed with more emphasis on the environment than subsidy payments, she said.

English Nature claims that only £87 million of the £3.7 billion CAP budget is for environmental use. It wants the amount to be increased to £800m a year within 10 years.