Survey highlights need to build farmers’ confidence in ELMS - Country Land & Business Association

A survey has shown farmers and landowners have a strong interest in the environment and the need to tackle climate change - but they do have concerns over the lack of clarity on the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS).

The survey, carried out jointly by the Country Land & Business Association (CLA) and Strutt & Parker ahead of the first CLA Rural Powerhouse Week (November 23rd to 26th), offers an insight into how farmers and landowners feel about the shift away from Basic Payments to a new system of farm support based on the provision of ‘public goods’.

It found that 80% of respondents were concerned about losses in biodiversity and the same percentage agreed with the idea of paying land managers for producing public goods. More than half reported they were already taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and 64% said a sense of personal responsibility would motivate them to make climate change a higher priority in terms of managing their land and property.

Four out of five respondents said they were either likely or very likely to join ELMS, or an equivalent scheme, when it becomes fully available in 2024.

Environmental measures, which farmers said they were likely or very likely to sign up to as part of ELMS, included supporting pollinators by increasing pollen and nectar sources (78%), providing seed habitats to support woodland birds over winter (73%) and tree planting to absorb carbon (57%).

However, there were lower levels of support for options such as growing energy crops (25%) or planting trees to slow flood waters (35%). Respondents also signalled that they did have concerns about how ELMS will operate.

The survey found:

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Posted On: 20/11/2020

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