Skip to main content

Agriculture: Wildlife

Volume 716: debated on Wednesday 27 January 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measures they are considering to ensure that farmers preserve and enhance wildlife on their land. [HL1370]

Many of our wildlife species and best habitat sites are already protected by legislation, and individuals should be free to manage wildlife within the law with government intervening only when necessary.

The Government provide funding (£2.9 billion) to farmers and land managers through agri-environment schemes under the Rural Development Programme for England for the effective environmental management of land to meet scheme objectives including conservation of wildlife (biodiversity).

Environmental stewardship, in particular entry level stewardship (which covers more than 5 million hectares), is the main delivery mechanism for promotion of farmland bird recovery, including as part of the campaign for the farmed environment to recapture the benefits of former set-aside. Higher-level stewardship is a major deliverer for achieving favourable condition of sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs).

Recommendations from a review of progress of environmental stewardship have been incorporated into the scheme in time for the first renewals of entry-level stewardship; more than 26,000 agreements expire in 2010-11. A new training and information programme to assist farmers in targeting options appropriately on their land and ensuring best environmental practice is due to commence in February.