The Environment Secretary is due to say how much money will be paid to farmers to restore sites that store carbon and reduce flooding, manage habitats and boost numbers of stone-curlews, cirl buntings and other species that have seriously declined.
Hundreds of farmers throughout Britain have had applications for agri-environment schemes put on hold awaiting a decision in Brussels.
Farm ministers sanctioned funding last week and Defra could double the money now available. The government will not provide that much, but has promised some additional cash. The RSPB calculates that a total of £300 million is needed annually to allow farmers’ applications to go ahead.
Dr Sue Armstrong Brown, Head of Countryside Conservation at the RSPB, said: “Adequate money for these exceptional agri-environment schemes is crucial to the future of our countryside. These schemes take green farming further than we have seen for more than fifty years and could contribute enormously to tackling climate change and helping farmland wildlife.
“The decision last week to allow funds to be switched from subsidies to environmental schemes was hugely welcome and is a major step forward. At least £300 million is needed to enable the best projects to go ahead and it is essential that this is what the government provides.”
CLA President, David Fursdon, said: “We support the move towards rewarding land managers for delivering environmental services and thus it is regrettable that the government has decided to reduce the rate of match funding of these environment schemes compared to the level operating for the last six years, especially as these services are becoming increasingly important in light of climate change and growing public interest in the countryside.”
Agri-environment schemes have existed for 20 years but were considerably improved after the Curry Commission report of 2002. Now, there are basic and higher level schemes and it is the latter for which funding has been delayed.
Stone-curlews and cirl buntings are examples of birds whose numbers have risen considerably because of conservation work on farmland funded by the higher level scheme.
The initiative has also paid for improvements to Sites of Special Scientific Interest on farmland. The RSPB and CLA fear that if the shortfall remains, national and international targets for reversing wildlife declines and improving habitats will not be met.
Dr Armstrong Brown said: “This scheme has made a huge difference in a short time and has the potential to achieve so much more. Farmers are queuing up to start work and it would be a tragedy for our countryside if they were turned away before getting to the front of the queue.”
Cath Harris | alfa
Six-legged livestock -- sustainable food production
11.05.2017 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen
Elephant Herpes: Super-Shedders Endanger Young Animals
04.05.2017 | Universität Zürich
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy