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Rural Development Plan for England (RDPE) 2007-13 – improving the environment through agri-environment Rosie Simpson, Natural England.

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Presentation on theme: "Rural Development Plan for England (RDPE) 2007-13 – improving the environment through agri-environment Rosie Simpson, Natural England."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rural Development Plan for England (RDPE) 2007-13 – improving the environment through agri-environment Rosie Simpson, Natural England

2 The rural context Most rural areas are thriving. Less social deprivation then national averages – some lagging areas No distinct ‘rural economy’ but very diverse rural areas - require intelligent, targeted responses Biodiversity improvements achieved but large scale action still needed to achieve targets Need to reduce agricultural water & air pollution & conserve soils Need to encourage all farmers to improve environmental management Safeguard irreplaceable historic landscape features Structural change but little risk of land abandonment

3 Healthy functioning environment to allow economies to grow Agri-environment measures best able to influence land management - 70% land used for agriculture Supported by complementary measures - targeted investment to improve competitiveness and add value, raise capacity & skill levels, improve knowledge transfer, advice More efficient use of natural resources – e.g. recycling, less artificial fertiliser, & lower environmental impacts of food production & consumption National England RDP Strategy

4 RDPE 2007-13 – improving the environment & countryside Axis 2 – (Maximum 80%) Agri-environment including non-productive investments Other LFA areas Sustainable use of forestry land including short rotation coppice for Energy Crops Scheme (ECS) – framework being developed Axis 1- (Minimum 10%) Establishing perennial energy crops (ECS) Adding value – capture more returns to the farm Training – market orientation, resource protection & efficiency Cooperation – e.g. marketing & economy of scale Axis 3 - (Minimum 10%) Diversification Creation/development of Micro-enterprises Sustainable rural tourism - manage impacts Leader (funding through Axes 1 - 75% project funds, 5% cooperation, 20% running costs, skills & capacity,

5 RDPE budget allocation 2007-2013 £3.9 bn (5.5bn€) Convergence £2.9 billion (4.1bn€) for Environmental Stewardship Classic Schemes Axis 2: (80% total RD budget) Axis 1 (10% RD budget) Axis 3 (10% RD budget) Energy Crops Forestry Uplands (LFA support) Higher level ES scheme Entry level Environmental Stewardship (ES) Scheme EU RD funds: £750m (1050m€) Co-funding: £850m ((1190m€) Vol modulation:£1500m (2100m€) Co-funding: £800m (1120m€)

6 RDPE budgets 2000-2013 – EU RD funding plus Voluntary National Modulation Source: Defra, various sources – indicative figures only 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 2000/01 2001/022002/03 2003/042004/052005/06 2006/072007/082008/092009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 £ million England Rural Development Programme Rural Development Programme for England Environmental Stewardship introduced

7 Objectives of Environmental Stewardship (ES) 5 primary objectives: –Conservation of biodiversity –Conservation of landscape –Resource protection (Soils, air & water) –Promotion of public access –Conservation of the historic environment Higher Level Stewardship 2 further secondary objectives: –Flood risk management –Genetic conservation ELS arable margin option

8 Stone Curlew Plots in S. England: Higher Level Scheme management option 1998 fallow blocks in arable & grass; 150 by 2005 Breeding pairs up from 45 in 1991 to 103 in 2005 Major contribution to meeting UK BAP targets early

9 Cirl Buntings: A rare species that has clearly benefited from agri-environment 83% increase in targeted areas for cereal field margins & retention of stubble (compared with 2% elsewhere

10 Do agri-environment schemes Work? Solid evidence based on years of experience and monitoring shows they work and have: –reduced tension between agriculture and conservation –helped slow habitat loss –halted/reversed declines in rare species –helped farmers to manage key habitats Still too early to see scheme-driven change in overall health of the farmland ecosystems, though modelling work suggests that this should happen Past experience suggests that schemes need at least one cycle & adjustments to get them right

11 Agri-environment scheme development Improved targeting Climate change adaptation; Water Framework Directive implementation, Biodiversity 2010 targets, including farmland birds, Manage expiring “Classic Scheme” agreements SSSI condition target Integrate LFA into upland agri-environment Favourable Conservation Status for Habitats & Species of European Importance Estimated that significantly more than the £2.9 billion available is required to deliver.

12 Further information - Natural England working to achieve: A healthy natural environment Enjoyment of the natural environment Sustainable use of the natural environment A secure environmental future

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