Government lays out plan for Environmental Land Management in ‘Path to Sustainable Farming’

The government has laid out its plans for Environmental Land Management in the ‘Path to Sustainable Farming’ document which was launched today (November 30) for English farmers.

Also Read: ‘We are no longer bound by the EU’ – Landmark ‘Path to Sustainable Farming’ document

Each UK administration has the flexibility to develop agricultural policy suited to their own circumstances.

Environmental Land Management will consist of three components:
  • The Sustainable Farming Incentive – which will support approaches to farm husbandry that deliver for the environment, such as actions to improve soil health, hedgerows and integrated pest management;
  • Local Nature Recovery – which will pay for actions such as creating, managing or restoring habitats, natural flood management and species management;
  • Landscape Recovery – which will focus on landscape and ecosystem recovery through projects looking to achieve large-scale forest and woodland creation, peatland restoration, or the creation and restoration of coastal habitats, such as wetlands and salt marsh.

Farmers and land managers will be able to assess which component is best-suited to their land.

Launch of the National Pilot

Work is ongoing to design the future scheme in collaboration with farmers and land managers and will continue next year, with the expected launch of the national pilot in late 2021, which will involve up to 5,500 farmers over a three-year period.

This will build on the lessons from the 68 live tests and trials being carried out by farmers across England to assess how the fundamental building blocks of the scheme will work on the ground.

According to the government, this will ensure that the new scheme delivers for farmers and land managers, as well as delivering greener, cleaner landscapes and reversing the decline of some of the most cherished species.

Expressions of interest for the national pilot are also expected to open early next year.

Some of the core elements of the Sustainable Farming Incentive will also be introduced from 2022.