Support water-friendly farming
European agriculture policy has been hugely successful in delivering plentiful food but at considerable environmental cost. Many rivers and groundwaters are polluted with high levels of fertilisers and pesticides; damaging wildlife and driving up water bills. We know that given the right incentives farmers can produce good food and healthy water.
Reward farmers who deliver healthy rivers, lakes, ponds and wetlands, and provide a range of other benefits to society.
- By 2011, Government should fully fund all primary objectives of the Environmental Stewardship Scheme, with better targeting to support wetland wildlife, deliver clean water and healthy soils and reduce run-off.
- By 2012, Defra should use current EU rules to shift 10% (£160m/ year) of Single Farm Payment funding into schemes that protect wildlife and stop agricultural pollution from damaging rivers, lakes, ponds and coasts.
- By 2014, the farming industry should take responsibility for funding of advisory elements of Catchment Sensitive Farming and the Voluntary Initiative.
- By 2014, the Common Agricultural Policy should be reformed to encourage sustainable farming practices and reward farmers for the delivery of public benefits, including better water quality and more wildlife.
Blueprint members will work with farmers, water industry and others to support water-friendly farming.