At the risk of straying away from from home turf, I would like to draw your attention to the announcement about the successor scheme to set-aside in England made last week. See the Farmers Guardian article
It has been rightly hailed by Sir Don Curry who chaired discussions between the CLA, NFU and Natural England, Environment Agency and RSPB, as a 'landmark moment'. But why is this important for The Heather Trust? What I like about the announcement is that it shows the willingness of government to listen to the organisations that represent those who actually manage the land and know what is achievable. Not only has the government listened but it has backed a voluntary scheme that will be promoted by all parties to increase the land under environmental management. The CLA & NFU now have to deliver the results.
The relevance to the Trust's area of interest is that I would like to see the same approach applied to other issues where there is a temptation to regulate. My cry for some time has been: let the land owners manage and the farmers farm. The agencies should be placing even more emphasis on facilitation and less on regulation. There is untapped potential in the land management community for environmental management that needs to be encouraged not hindered by current regulations. This potential could be harnessed for everyone's benefit if more common sense was encouraged at the expense of petty bureaucracy.