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Funding wildlife must not put new burden on rural businesses, says CLA

[Friday 15 October 2010]

The CLA has sounded a note of caution about RSPB proposals for new taxes to protect the environment.

The Association said that the plans, in a report entitled 'Financing nature in an age of austerity', could put even greater pressure on rural businesses at an already tough time.

Douglas Chalmers Director CLA North said: “The report rightly recognises that there is not enough funding for the level of conservation work desired by the environmental lobby. However taxing farmers and land managers or putting a levy on new homes in the countryside is not the answer.

“It is our farmers and land managers who already deliver much conservation work that already goes on, but this will only continue if their businesses remain viable.

“The economy of the countryside depends on a range of rural businesses that can ill afford additional financial burdens, and the planning system is already too expensive without adding to its costs.”

“It’s all very well saying that we have to nurture the environment, and no one would argue with that, but at the moment we need to nurture those businesses who can actually deliver this, without affecting their priority job of feeding us all”.

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