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Public consultation on UK Government’s Environmental Land Management scheme

Submit your views and support the inclusion of rewilding as a key option in the new scheme

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 © Les Bunyan / Wild Ken Hill

Published 30/06/2020

** Update (30 June 2020) ** The government closed this consultation early on 8th April due to the impacts of Covid-19. The consultation has now reopened. The closing date for responses is 31 July 2020. Read the announcement on Defra’s website

The UK Government’s Environmental Land Management scheme (ELM) will be the cornerstone of a new agricultural policy for England, and could potentially influence the approach taken in the rest of the UK. At Rewilding Britain, we believe it’s one of the most important environmental reforms in decades. It could restore nature, and ensure continued healthy ecosystems, by rewarding land managers with public money for public goods’ — that is, by giving subsidies to those whose activities benefit the public.

It sounds good, but of course the devil is in the detail. If you’re resident in England, now is your opportunity to help shape that detail.

The government is currently consulting on the development of ELM. It says it is committed to co-designing the ELM scheme with these stakeholders to create something that allows business to thrive whilst delivering environmental improvements. We are keen to avoid the mistakes of the CAP and learn from those people who know best.’

As well as farmers, foresters and other land managers, all of us who are taxpayers in the UK have a stake in how the land is managed. It affects our health and wellbeing, our food, our environment and our future.

Currently, the ELM scheme consultation questions, and the accompanying policy discussion document, fail to mention rewilding at all. Yet we know dozens of landowners, with over 40,000 ha between them, who are already rewilding or planning to rewild — and this total is growing by the week.

If you agree that rewilding and rewilding principles should be enshrined in the scheme, then it’s time to take action. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to shape the future of land use in England, and potentially in the rest of the UK. To help, you can read our response then submit your own. It shows the issues that we feel need to be addressed. We suggest you submit similar comments if you agree with us.

The consultation is composed of 17 questions based on an accompanying Environmental Land Management Policy discussion document — 1MB (PDF document).

Once you’ve read the policy discussion document, we encourage you to:

Deadline: The deadline for this consultation is 31 July.

This is really important. If you live in England, please help to make rewilding a key option in future land management. Read our response and take action when the opportunity comes.

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