28 May 2009

Set-aside concerns voiced…

Froglife and The Herpetological Conservation Trust join a number of the UK’s leading conservation organisations in pushing the Government to make the right decision over set-aside in the UK.

The EU’s now defunct set-aside policy inadvertently created valuable habitat for a number of species and helped keep agricultural pollutants out of waterways.

In a letter to Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the organisations outline their concern over the upcoming Government decision on set-aside.

The farming industry’s plan sees farmers encouraged to set-aside through voluntary action, something that wildlife organisations say “…will undoubtedly fail to achieve what is needed as it lacks urgency and specific targets.”

Although the signatories welcome the concept of farmers having responsibility for choosing to set-aside, they suggest that an approach to manage set-aside in return for a public subsidy would stand a much better chance of success.

The letter, signed by a number of Wildlife and Countryside Link members, comes as the period of public consultation on the issue comes to an end.

For more on the upcoming merger between Froglife and The Herpetological Conservation Trust: http://froglife-frogbites.blogspot.com/2009/04/froglife-is-metamorphosing_06.html

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