Published: October 30, 2013
Burnham-On-Sea MP backs calls for funding for eco-friendly farming

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has this week met local farmers and the RSPB as she called for more government funding to support wildlife and environmentally-friendly farming methods.

The Environment Secretary will soon be finalising his budget and priorities for the future of the countryside and a decision will be made on how much funding should be dedicated to schemes that support wildlife and 'green' farming.

New figures released last week by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) show that the number of birds reliant on farmland have halved in number since 1970.

Tessa has joined farmers' calls for the maximum transfer of available budgets for wildlife and environmentally-friendly farming methods.

She told "These schemes are hugely important. They not only address wildlife declines, but also help to promote more sustainable farming and deliver wider public benefits, such as tourism and jobs. I agree with The National Trust and the RSPB that these schemes could be vital for competitiveness and long-term viability of the sector, as well as the encouraging the growth and vitality of rural communities."

Martin Harper, the RSPB’s conservation director, added: "Three-quarters of England is farmed, and that means farmers take on a huge responsibility to look after a great proportion of our wildlife, landscapes and cultural heritage. Over the last two decades, an increasing number of farmers have embraced the challenge and taken the step to enter agri-environment schemes, working hard to get results on the ground. I’m delighted we are working alongside farmers today to try and secure a better deal for these schemes in the future."

"Together we hope that the Environment Secretary will keep his pledge to help wildlife and the wider environment by shifting farming budgets in favour of those farmers seeking to farm in wildlife-friendly ways."

Pictured: Farmer Jonathan Brunyee with Burnham's MP Tessa Munt and Rebecca Charley


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