We welcome news of the extension to the ‘payment by results’ pilot (Defra to fund revolutionary ‘payment by results’ agri-environment scheme, August 2), which recognises that farmers are well-placed to implement measures which will boost the environment around them. The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has always been keen to champion those who work hard to deliver the best for the British countryside, and it is encouraging to see Defra further investigate this approach.
Freedom from prescriptive measures will enable those with a real local insight to target the management of their land in the best possible way. Through the Farmer Cluster initiative, which takes a bottom-up approach, we have seen what can be achieved by putting farmers in control of how their land is managed.
The concept of ‘payment by results’ forms a key part of our proposal for how a post-Brexit farming policy could work. We have promoted the concept of a farmer-led agri-environment scheme for some time and today’s announcement sends out an important message from Westminster – that it trusts our farmers to do what is best. I hope policymakers continue to recognise the valuable contribution farmers and other land managers make, as we decide how the countryside is managed outside of the European Union.
Head of training and development at GWCT
The Trust’s vision statement, Farming through Brexit, is available to download at https://www.gwct.org.uk/media/878712/farming-through-brexit-lr.pdf