The UK conservation charities have said that long-term financial commitment must be in place to pay farmers and land managers

The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB

Image: Conservation charities publish study on agriculture and climate change in UK. Photo: Courtesy of PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay.

Three of the UK’s conservation charities The Wildlife Trusts, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and National Trust have called on the UK Government to invest at least £3bn to support farmers and managers in tackling climate change on their land.

Presently, the UK spends nearly £3.2bn annually on both farm income support and environmental payments under the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). According to the new data, the country needs to reinvest the money to support nature-friendly farming.

The three conservation charities said that long-term financial commitment to pay farmers and land managers is needed if they are to help the UK in addressing the climate change.

The investment is expected to recover farmland and enhance wildlife

The £3bn investment will be required for the recovery of farmland wildlife such as lapwing, hares, and pollinating insects.

Furthermore, the investment will help in creating and enhancing wildlife habitats, including wildflower meadows, peatlands and native woodlands and to protect precious soils and to cut greenhouse gas emissions by restoring ecosystems, planting trees and hedges.

The National Trust Outdoors and Natural Resources Director Patrick Begg said: “If the government wants farmers to get on board with restoring nature it must provide the certainty and security of long-term funding, backed by first class and first-hand advisory services. This new evidence really develops our understanding of what investment this will cost to deliver.

“We hope that Ministers will take it on board and guarantee this money for farmers not just for the next one or two years, but at least the next decade. The Agriculture Bill must also be reintroduced to the next session of Parliament, so we don’t lose the progress that’s already been made.”

A research conducted by RSPB, National Trust and The Wildlife Trusts in 2017 showed that at least £3.2bn is needed to get the environmental land management priorities right for the country in terms of climate change.

Now it has been updated to reflect the latest data and has taken into account other factors including the cost of providing supporting advice and to lock-in the public goods associated with long-term land use change.

The Wildlife Trusts senior policy manager Ellie Brodie said: “Nature is in big trouble, with one report after another highlighting steep wildlife declines.”

Brodie continued saying: “We need a strong Environment Bill with ambitious targets for nature’s recovery and to secure the principle of spending public money on public goods in the Agriculture Bill.

“Creating bigger, better natural habitats, boosting pollinators, investing in healthy soils, cleaning up polluted rivers, managing land upstream to stop flooding downstream and bringing back wildlife are all things that are good for farmers and good for the wider population too.”