Reply from Defra

I wrote to my MP asking him to pass on my approval of what George Eustice, the agriculture minister, said about funding for grouse moors in his remarks at the Oxford Farming Conference.

Here is the reply. It doesn’t say that much, but MPs, ministers, in fact all of us, like being told that we are right! And it tends to reinforce our views.

There are no commitments in the letter – I didn’t ask for any and wouldn’t expect to get any. The Green Papers (which arguably ought to have been a single one) are about to be published (as they have been for months) and they will make interesting reading. But not just reading, I will be encouraging all of you to make your views known about the future of the countryside.


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2 Replies to “Reply from Defra”

  1. It is suggested that any agreement with Australia and New Zealand will result in a flood of lamb into the market making it very hard for upland farmers to make a penny from sheep. Any one for rewilding!

  2. Wonder if there could be a move towards encouraging a shift towards more conservation- based communities, similar to this one:
    Kites are the focus for Galloway, but certainly there are areas where Hen Harriers and other raptors, as well as other wildlife could be encouraged, and the local communities might really benefit. It could even replace driven Grouse shooting, as it seems much more environmentally friendly, and also lucrative (if that is one's bottom-line). Seems to attract people from all over, who are thrilled to have an opportunity to see these majestic birds. There are all sorts of related services/businesses that could also share in these sorts of communities...locally grown food, artisans, tours of artist's studios, bed and breakfasts, educational tours, summer camps/programs for young people, esp. if Natural History becomes included in the curriculum...
    Seems there are many alternatives to the current situation of slaughtering wildlife and protected birds, burning precious moorlands, increasing air and water pollution, increasing flood risks, etc...Just requires a bit of a shift in thinking....I'm certainly not the only one who who like to see thriving authentically conservation-based communities in the countryside.


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