RSPB warning for wildlife friendly farmers in Lincolnshire

PROPOSALS for the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) unveiled today are a let down for wildlife friendly farmers throughout Lincolnshire, says the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

The European Commission has released details of its plans for a reformed CAP. The RSPB says the new policy would mean less support for targeted environmental measures on farms and is bad news for farmers working on some of the most wildlife-rich land in Europe.

Simon Tonkin, RSPB Senior Farmland Conservation Officer for Eastern England, said: “Anyone who cares about wildlife throughout our countryside and across Europe should be deeply concerned at this news.

“I am fortunate to work with many inspiring farmers who are doing their bit to help farm wildlife in the East and the results are clear to see. However, without vital funds to do this work farmers would not be able to deliver these environmental benefits.

“Brussels plans to cut these funds come exactly at a time when wildlife, society and farmers need it to increase the most.

“The CAP has long been criticized for inefficiency and waste. It would be unbelievable if cuts were targeted at the one part of the policy that is actually delivering for public goods and rural populations.

“If the proposals come to pass it would mean that the EU will fail to get anywhere near its recently adopted biodiversity target, and problems like water pollution and soil erosion would further increase.

“However, these are just proposals. Now is the time for the UK Government to translate admirable rhetoric about reform of the CAP into clever negotiations in Brussels that will turn these disappointing proposals around to benefit wildlife and to direct spending to where it is needed the most.”