Farming has a positive environmental impact in the UK
NewsWednesday 22 May 2013
The NFU today announced that farming is a positive force for the environment and makes a very significant contribution towards the countryside and British wildlife.
They released these comments after a group of environmental organisations launched the ‘State of Nature’ report, which suggests 60% of the species that they included in their study have declined in recent years.
Farmers nationwide support initiatives including the industry-led Campaign for the Farmed Environment, and also Defra’s stewardship schemes, which both provide an extremely positive basis in which wildlife can thrive.
The NFU also mentioned that farmers are also managing their environmental footprint well. For example, farmers have pulled together and reduced the pesticide pollution in sensitive water catchment by up to a third. And, farming organisations have also played their part in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, with the amount of emissions released from agriculture declining by 19%.
NFU Deputy President Meurig Raymond said: “No farmer will welcome news that wildlife populations are deteriorating. Indeed, many farmers and visitors to the countryside will be surprised about the report’s findings, given the huge effort farmers now place on managing the environment.
“For example our work with the RSPB and other conservation bodies on the Campaign for the Farmed Environment has brought more than 200,000 hectares of land into positive conservation management since 2009. This in addition to more than 50,000 agreements farmers have in the government’s environmental stewardship.
“The State of Nature reports that wildlife populations have changed significantly during the last 50 years.
“But no area of our economy or society has stood still over this same time period, and farming and the countryside are no different. Urbanisation, climate change and changing land use have all had their impact as the report argues.
“The challenge the report offers is to find ways in which farming can continue to produce high quality British food, be a positive force in the countryside and support the nation’s wildlife.”
Picture: Thadd Selden