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Link’s Agriculture Working Group seeks to conserve the natural and historic environment and improve animal welfare by seeking improvements to agriculture and land management policy.

Chair: Christopher Price, Rare Breeds Survival Trust
Vice Chair: Alice Groom, RSPB
Link: Hannah Blitzer, Senior Policy Officer

Update from the group:

Link continues to call for ambitious farm payments under the Government’s flagship ‘Environmental Land Management’ (ELM) policy such as its contribution to net zero, or a minimum threshold of 10% of farmland managed for nature.

Currently, eligible farmers and land managers can sign up to the ELM schemes. However, outstanding concerns remain over the delivery of ELM. With recent changes to the Ministerial team in Defra, Link understands that  Defra is likely to announce some changes to ELM in 2023. You can see a blog outlining what Link members want to see here. You can also find Link’s key recommendations for the ELM here.

Furthermore, while Defra has begun to assess the agricultural regulatory and enforcement system, this presently only centres around nutrient management, slurry and hedgerows  and does not address the broader recommendations made by Dame Glenys Stacey in 2018, which are still urgently needed to underpin investment of public money. There are also outstanding concerns around the end to cross compliance from 1 January 2024. Link has responded to Defra's consultation on hedgerows and is working with members to outline a vision for an ambitious regulatory baseline as a precondition for ELM  success.

For further information, contact Hannah Blitzer, Link’s Policy Officer.

Last updated: November 2023

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