The most ambitious project ever launched in Britain to meld together the often opposing demands of modern farming and the latest environmental protection measures will take its first steps next week with two “brain-storming” sessions between farmers, farm advisers, and managers, and two leading conservation bodies.
These two training sessions, both in East Anglia, mark the “rolling out” of the Campaign for the Farmed Environment, (CFE a body created jointly by Government bodies like Defra, farming organisations and conservation bodies like the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Next week’s two sessions are being hosted by the RSPB and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, which represents the game shooting industry, an important source of employment and income in North Yorkshire. These two organisations may seem to be odd bed-fellows, for they have often fallen out of the needs to protect small bird population by shooting predators like crows and magpies, but the fact that they are both involved in the same campaign augers well for the future.
Similar sessions will be arranged later in other parts of the country as the campaign gathers momentum: resource protection, farmland birds and farm wildlife.
Says NFU President Peter Kendall: "All farmers, land managers and advisers have a key role to play in ensuring the Campaign for the Farmed Environment is a success. The campaign is therefore challenging advisers and agronomists to ensure they understand the environmental challenges facing farming and the tough targets this campaign needs to achieve".
The campaign’s original partners are the National Farmers' Union, the Country, Land and Business Association, the Agricultural Industries Confederation, the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Linking Environment and Farming, Defra, Natural England, the Environment Agency and the RSPB.
They have been joined by the Association of Independent Crop Consultants and the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers to create a powerful national partnership.