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Conservation

Volume 114: debated on Tuesday 7 April 1987

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for South Shields on 20 January 1987, Official Report, column 495, whether a voluntary conservation body which has received aid from public funds to purchase land within an environmentally sensitive area, but which is not receiving any aid from public funds for the management of that land, will be eligible to receive payments made under the environmentally sensitive area arrangements;(2) pursuant to the answer of 20 January,

Official Report, column 495, whether a voluntary conservation body which is receiving aid from public funds for the management of land lying within an environmentally sensitive area, will be eligible to receive payments made under the environmentally sensitive area arrangements;

(3) pursuant to the answer of 20 January, Official Report, column 495, in what circumstances he will refuse to enter into management agreements with voluntary conservation bodies in relation to land lying within environmentally sensitive areas which is owned or managed by those bodies.

As I said in my answer of 20 January, each such application will be considered individually. It may be necessary to refuse to enter an agreement where the body concerned has received or is continuing to receive public funds for purposes which substantially overlap with the purposes of the environmentally sensitive area. This could in principle occur where the funds in question represented a contribution either to land purchase or to land management.

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food pursuant to the answer of 20 January, Official Report, column 495, whether a voluntary conservation body which has received aid from public funds to purchase land lying within an environmentally sensitive area, and which subsequently repays the moneys received, will be eligible to receive payments made under the environmentally sensitive area arrangements.

If a conservation body were contemplating such a course of action we would be prepared to consider it constructively.