The GWCT noted with interest Mr Lochhead’s CAP announcement on Wednesday 11th June, particularly the details given on the CAP Greening requirements. It’s a pragmatic announcement very focused on productive agriculture, which we’re all in favour of. But there’s a real danger that countryside conservation could be slipping between the gaps.
We are disappointed at the decision to not include important biodiversity features within the EFA requirements such as hedges and ponds or at least give Scottish farmers the option of including them in their 5%. We believe that this penalises farmers who are already voluntarily maintaining these features across the farming landscape. We hope that Scottish Government will continue to consider these habitats and their mapping requirements.
In Scotland field margins will count as Ecological Focus Area if not supported by SRDP, but not the hedges
The GWCT has further concerns that extensive grassland units will be asked to make little change but still receive a greening payment due to exemptions. Whilst we recognise the benefits that will be derived from the mandatory nutrient management plan, the Trust also recognises that considerable pressure will be placed on Pillar 2 funding to deliver environmental uplift for our game and wildlife.
For further details on the Cabinet Secretary’s announcement, please click here.