MP backs sustainable farming plans

Nick Harvey meeting North Devon farmers Gerald and Gillian Manning (right) and Lisa Schneidau (left)

Nick Harvey meeting North Devon farmers Gerald and Gillian Manning (right) and Lisa Schneidau (left) of the Devon Wildlife Trust. - Credit: Archant

Nick Harvey gets behind local farmers calling for more funding

North Devon MP Nick Harvey has backed local farmers’ calls for more funding for sustainable farming.

At a recent meeting in Parliament, supported by the RSPB and local Wildlife Trusts, Nick met North Devon farmers Gerald and Gillian Manning to hear about how ‘agri-environment’ schemes have helped promote farming which is more friendly to the environment and wildlife.

Since their introduction, the schemes have also encouraged the growth of rural communities through job creation and tourism.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson recently indicated that the Government wants to dedicate the maximum 15% of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidy to the schemes. A final EU decision on the budgets is expected by the end of the year.

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Mr Harvey said: “Farming is an important part of the economy in a rural community like North Devon. The area is also home to a wide range of wildlife and that’s why it’s vital that we continue to fund these agri-environment schemes so farmers can run their farms in a wildlife-friendly way.

“It’s welcome news that the Government has indicated its intention to shift the CAP budget in favour of these schemes.

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“I’m calling on the Environment Secretary to stick to his plan and ensure that both North Devon’s farms and wildlife continue to thrive in the future.”

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