29 March 1996

Environment points

ENVIRONMENTAL groups have put forward a seven-point list of proposals to improve MAFFs agri-environment package.

The proposals are listed in a document released by the Wildlife and Countryside Link to coincide with the launch of MAFFs agri-environment forum on Monday.

The group, a coalition of leading greens, calls for clear objectives, targets which are monitored regularly and comprehensive survey data. It also wants flexible management prescriptions to reflect local conditions, sufficient financial support and up-to-date local advice and guidance. On funding, the document states that financial limits, such as those used for environmentally sensitive areas in Scotland, should be abolished or significantly raised.

"The objectives of the agri-environment regulation are undermined when incentive payments are lower than those on offer though mainstream agricultural support," it adds.

Gail Murray, vice-chair of WCLs agriculture group, called for action on the issues raised. "We call on MAFF to adopt these principles," she said. &#42