Funding

For a list of funding opportunities please see the funding page.

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Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE)

Farmers care for the land they farm and know that a healthy environment is essential for sustainable farming.

In order to retain and exceed the environmental benefits that used to be provided by set aside, all the leading farming organisations (e.g. NFU and CLA) are now working together to encourage farmers and land managers to voluntarily adopt important land management practices that will benefit the environment.

The campaign will focus on three key themes: resource (soil and water) protection, farmland birds and farmland wildlife. The voluntary campaign will be working largely with arable farmers – those who previously had set-aside – who are either in or outside of Environmental Stewardship (ES). Farming organisations will be working closely with Natural England to help them meet targets of increasing number of farmers in ES agreements through encouraging agreement renewal (beginning from 2010) and new take-up for those not in the scheme.

Another key aim is to encourage voluntary environmental measure adoption. 15 land management options have been identified which could provide the greatest benefits to the three key themes described above. These are similar management options to those found in ES but they are entirely voluntary, less prescriptive and more flexible. The 15 voluntary measures are aimed at farmers who don’t wish to participate in ES but wish to improve their farmland environment.

The campaign will be delivered by county liaison groups and BCNP Wildlife Trust is a member of the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire groups. The county liaison groups will organise and manage promotional activities and events (e.g. farm walks). To see what events are occurring in your area please visit the CFE website. Defra have made it clear that if CFE objectives are not met by June 2012 then legislation requiring mandatory 5% set aside may be enacted. The NFU sees this voluntary approach as being more intelligent than a blanket approach – it allows for the targeted application of environmental measures in the locations where they will have the most benefit. This will deliver greater environmental improvements than the one-size-fits-all regulatory approach initially proposed by Defra. This campaign could also demonstrate how well such partnerships and voluntary schemes can work which may mean that future proposed legislation can be substituted for a similar approach.

For more information see:

CFE website  
CFE leaflet