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Land Use

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on average how much and what proportion of land in England was designated as farmland in each decade since 1979. (269325)

The following table shows the total area of land on registered agricultural holdings in England in each of the past five years since 1979, along with the proportion of English land covered by these holdings. The agricultural area does not include common grazing land as this is not solely owned by farmers.

Total agricultural area on holdings (000 ha)

% area of England on agricultural holdings

1979

9,560.9

73.3

1984

9,518.1

73.0

1989

9,458.2

72.5

1994

9,442.8

72.4

1999

9,247.6

70.9

2004

9,166.9

70.3

2008

9,339.0

71.6

Notes:

1. The area of England used throughout is 13.04 million hectares, taken from the 2001 Population Census.

2. The introduction of the single payment scheme in 2005 has lead to an increase in the number of registered holdings and hence, area.

3. The total agricultural area on holdings is taken from the annual June Survey of Agriculture.