19 September 2000
Minimum support for 40% of hills

By FWi staff

MORE than 40% of English farmland affected by the governments proposed Hill Farming Allowance scheme could receive subsidies at the lowest rate.

Some 42% of affected land falls within the Moorland Line, most of it common land, said a government press statement on Monday (18 September).

Under the scheme, due to start next February, different rates of payment will apply depending upon whether upland hill farms are inside or outside the line.

The line encloses predominantly semi-natural upland vegetation, primarily used for rough grazing. This land will receive the lowest subsidies.

It is proposed that farmers with 10-350ha of moorland will receive 13.02/ha. Payments will then be reduced to 6.51/ha up to a maximum of 75ha.

If plans are approved, land outside the Moorland Line will receive 9.30-34.40/ha, depending whether it is “disadvantaged” or “severely disadvantaged”.

Maps showing the areas of south-west England which fall within the line are now available at the Ministry of Agricultures offices at Exeter and Truro.

The Ministry said copyright restrictions meant it could not send out the maps, but farmers could make an appointment to view by phoning 01392 266012.