Farmers to scrutinise green sites

31 August 2000

Farmers to scrutinise green sites

By FWi staff

FARMERS are being asked to carefully examine the details of land proposed to be designated as Special Areas of Conservation to check the site is of real importance.

Deputy prime minister John Prescott revealed last week that the government would like to designate 81 new sites covering around 300,000ha (750,000 acres).

The new sites, which include bogs, river estuaries and woodland, will double the amount of land under the scheme in England.

Andrew Clarke, NFU forestry and countryside advisor, said farmers with potentially redesignated land should take professional advice.

How much of a burden the scheme becomes depends how the law is implemented, he said.

“They [the new sites] dont have to be a problem so long as English Nature takes a sensible and practical approach.”

The news that the government is making steps to improve wildlife protection was generally welcomed by environmentalists.

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