UK - A new report released today by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) argues that farming in England needs to become more diverse to prove environmentally resilient over the coming years.
The report, called 'New model farming', suggests public money should encourage more diversity in the sector - in demographics, farm size and production. The charity said this would "forge a more resilient future that offers rewards beyond food" by protecting valuable aspects of the environment such as clean water, wildlife and carbon storage.
It also suggested that more land should be made available for new farmers and community groups.
Graeme Willis, food and farming campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said: “The Government has a great opportunity post-Brexit to determine what farming and the English countryside will look like. Do we really want to continue the pattern of ever larger agri-business, less connected to communities and out of kilter with nature?
“To forge a more resilient future, the Government should encourage a mix of farms that produce different foods for local people and varied, thriving landscapes.
"The obvious place to start is by redirecting funding to help smaller, more innovative and mixed farms, and by making land available for new farmers to enter the market.”
The report follows similar calls by the National Trust, which said domestic British farm funding should place more emphasis on protecting nature once released from the rules set by the EU. The National Farmers Union responded by saying that farmers already work to protect the environment, and that the importance of food production should not be overlooked.
TheCattleSite News Desk