It’s mad!

Yesterday’s blog suggested a different  way of paying by results for success in agri-environment schemes – regional top-ups for participating farmers if the regional farmland bird index rises.  It’s a tricky thing to administer, perhaps, but it is essentially a good idea (in my humble opinion).

This month’s copy of The Field – with an appropriate hare on the cover – includes this idea in an article by me which kicks off a series from ‘leading figures in the countryside’ (clearly they mean the next contributors) entitled ‘If I ruled the world...’.

Reading my article again, the ‘paying by results’ idea is one of the more moderate proposals I suggest! You’ll have to read The Field (it’s p33 if you want to have a quick look in the newsagents – don’t tell the editor I told you!) to find out my proposal for a new public holiday, a new national lottery, regulations on the wording of menus, which species we should try to reintroduce and which we should try to exterminate in the UK, and what the President of the NFU should do at harvest festival.

But if you do pick up The Field in the newsagents you might not want to put it down as there is an interesting article on hares, mention of Hurricane Fly’s chances in the up-and-coming Champion Hurdle, an interesting report of the David Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy which I tried to see a while ago (but found the queues too long) and an article (illustrated) on, can you believe it, beach volleyball.

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4 Replies to “It’s mad!”

  1. I particularly liked the beach volleyball item. Brings country persuits to a whole new generation. But seriously it's a good article by you and although some interesting thoughts, pink the only colour for a gas guzzler, some good points made in a snapshot way. Here is hoping the next "if I ruled the World..." incumbent is as readable.

    Also in the NHUCountryside magazine a good brown hare piece, slightly more science based than in the Field

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  2. Of course, there's an alternative and rather more radical approach which is paying by demand - and not just for farm crops. Everyone is dancing around the reality that we are going to have to re-order our ptiorities for land use as climate change bites, illustrated this week by forecast droughts in the south east. It is fascinating that noone is prepared to come out and state the obvious - that the single farm payment has to copme into the equation. It simply can't go on being effectively 'free' money, not least because it vastly inflates the cost of alternative land use. As I've said before, land managers must be paid for the services they provide - but they must also be ready to sell the products society needs and that may be checking peak flows, farming for aquifers, growing trees for energy and flood control and so on.

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