The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses has responded to a Defra report that tracks the progress of the Natural Environment White Paper published in 2011.

Of the England Natural Environment Indicators report published today (25 August), CLA Director of Policy and Advice Christopher Price said:

“This progress report is a tough read for all those who care about our countryside. What it makes clear is that we have a significant collective challenge and we have to work together to tackle it. As we prepare to exit the EU we have an opportunity to build a new, world-leading UK Food, Farming and Environmental policy to succeed the Common Agricultural Policy when it ends after 2020. It is clear that the new policy that must have greater ambition in how it supports farmers and land managers to deliver better environmental outcomes.”

The CLA, along with Scottish Land & Estates, has published six fundamental principles for the new Food, Farming and Environmental Policy in post-Brexit Britain:

• A productive, competitive farming and forestry sector: the policy must enable UK farmers to be competitive on international markets

• Food security: the policy must promote innovative, sustainable ways to increase production and manage risk

• Enhancing the environment: the policy must be more ambitious than its predecessors in meeting environmental challenges

• A dedicated UK budget: Government must provide sufficient funds for the policy across the whole of the UK

• Value for Money: the policy must deliver value for money in the way it is implemented and in the outcomes it delivers to the benefit of everyone

• Clear, proportionate regulation: the standards that must be met should be clear, with support provided to help businesses achieve compliance.