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27 farming, environment and animal welfare organisations have put forward their proposals for a Sustainable Farming and Land Management Policy for England that ensures the future is bright for both farming and the environment after Brexit.

Leaving the European Union (EU) is a seismic event for farming and the environment in the UK, and one that will need a policy response of a similar magnitude. After decades of frustratingly slow, iterative ‘reform’ of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), there is a widespread recognition that farming and land management policy is in need of a significant overhaul. Brexit offers a once in a generation opportunity to achieve this.

Recognising this opportunity, Wildlife and Countryside Link's Agriculture Working Group, with the Soil Association, published their proposals for a post-Brexit Sustainable Farming and Land Management policy for England in September 2017. These proposals advocate for a future farming policy that uses public money to deliver real public benefits, such as thriving wildlife, clean water, healthy soils, high standards of animal welfare and access to the countryside.

We were heartened to see these recommendations clearly reflected, and officially recognised, in the Government's consultation paper on future farming policy. In our response to the consultation, we welcome Government's bold ambition but emphasise that urgent clarity must be provided on funding, targets and timescales if the forthcoming Agriculture Bill is to secure a truly bright future for both farming and the environment after Brexit.

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Membership of Wildlife and Countryside Link is open to national and international voluntary or other non-profit organisations based in England. Member organisations must be able to demonstrate an interest in furthering the work of Link, and their aims must include the protection of wildlife, landscape and the quiet enjoyment and appreciation of the countryside. Individual members of the public are not eligible to join Link, but may be interested in joining one of Link's member organisations.

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