Brown wins deal over field margins

31 July 2000

Brown wins deal over field margins

by FWi staff

THE government has secured a deal with Brussels over plans to impose a width limit of two metres on field margins, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Changes to European crop rules had left many farmers warning that they would have to plough up field margins or face losing part of their subsidies.

But agriculture minister Nick Brown has negotiated a derogation with Brussels which will help preserve hedges and wildlife, the Telegraph reports.

He made the disclosure to RSPB officials at Game Fair, adds the paper. A formal announcement is expected to be made later this week.

Earlier this year, FWi reported that the government had submitted to Brussels proposals which would have excluded about 95% of UK hedges from the rules.

The MAFF proposals would have increased the width allowed to three metres.

Exemptions would have applied to hedges in areas of “environmental or scenic importance” or those which are near agri-environmental schemes.

At the time, the proposed wording was said to have been deliberately loose in order to allow the maximum number of hedges to be exempted.

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