30 June 1997
MAFF rejects funding for Weald Meadows Initiative
The Ministry of Agriculture has denied the Weald Meadows Initiative a vital
£20,000 to revitalise Englands meadows. The money is needed for a pilot
project to brush seeds from some of the meadows of the High Weald between the
Kent and Sussex Downs. They are rich in rare seed plants such as the ox-eye
daisy, yellow rattle, devils bit and fine-leaved grasses.
Although the Weald Meadows Initiative is already underway, lack of funding
will mean it will have to be scrapped in the summer.
The Independent says the ministrys rejection is all the more
short-sighted in the light of its announcement that farmers are to be encouraged
to use fewer chemicals and scatter wild plant seeds on their fields instead as
part of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme.