Wednesday, 8 March 2017
Farmers are given free reign to preserve land under new scheme
See the article in the Yorkshire Post for details of the 'outcomes approach' being applied to hay meadows in Wensleydale. I like the sound of this approach, and I wonder if this might be the way of the future of agri-environment schemes in the post-brexit world.
I am a believer of giving those who manage the land responsibility for delivering an agreed outcome in a way that suits their capabilities, the land and their enthusiasm. I think we have proved rather too successfully the limitation of a top-down, prescriptive approach to achieving targets. The garden is not all roses and there will still be a requirement for a regulatory stick to beat those who do not get the message or who try to cut corners, but for once the needs of the majority should be put first.
Well done all involved in setting up this scheme. I believe that this type of bold approach will achieve the long-term benefits that are required. There will be some bumps in the road, and I hope that these will not deflect everyone from the common purpose.