Blairs word questioned
PRIME minister Tony Blairs promise of income for looking after the environment rings hollow in the ears of Somerset Country Landowners Association members who have signed up for the Somerset Levels and Moors Environmentally Sensitive Area.
Some of their payments were recently reduced. Tier 1 permanent grassland fell from £130-£125/ha (£52-£50/acre), tier 2 wet permanent grassland fell from £250-£225/ha (£100-£91/acre) and the buffer strip supplement fell from £190-£110/ha (£77-£44/acre). None of the other tiers has been changed.
A spokesman for the NFU SW said there had also been changes in the rates in other ESAs, including some increases which roughly balanced the reductions. *