The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has today launched a consultation on the future of farming – Health and harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit.

The consultation gives an indication of the Government’s current thinking on farming policy after Brexit, ahead of the Agriculture Bill, coming later this year.

Defra has emphasised that the proposals in the 10-week consultation – which ends on 8 May – are “the beginning of a conversation, not a conclusion”.

Among the government’s proposals will be a switch from direct payments under the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), which are based on the amount of land farmed, to a new system of paying farmers “public money for public goods” – principally their work to enhance the environment and invest in sustainable food production.

Paul Williamson, BASC’s Rural Land Development Manager, said: “BASC will ensure that shooting is represented in discussions about decisions around the future of farming and land management.

“Shooting and farming go hand in glove and we rely on a fantastic working relationship with farmers to ensure that shooting can take place on land that may otherwise not be open to the public.

“Farmers, land owners and managers also know the immense benefits to the environment that comes from shooting, which is involved in the management of two-thirds of the UK’s rural land area. BASC welcomes the opportunity to put shooting’s case to Defra.”

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