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Wednesday 15 November: Back from the Brink launch and Tenant Farmers Association Conference

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Back from the Brink

A photo of a Ladybird Spider
A Ladybird Spider (photo credit: Ian Hughes/Natural England)

Today sees the official launch of ground breaking Lottery-funded project, Back from the Brink (BftB). The project is the first nationwide coordinated effort to bring a wide range of leading charities and conservation bodies together to save threatened species. Natural England will work in partnership with Amphibian and Reptile Trust, Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife and the RSPB.

Ahead of the launch event at Windsor Park, Dr Trevor Dines, of Plantlife talked about the project on the BBC Breakfast sofa. He described BftB as a huge, exciting project hoping to bring 20 species back from the brink of extinction and encouraged viewers to take action to help wildlife in their own gardens, for example by planting flowers. More information on the project can be found on the BftB website.

Natural England chairman, Andrew Sells, said:

This project is nothing short of a revolution in conservation. Never before have so many people pledged to work together to save so many of England’s individual plants and animals. It comes not a moment too soon for many important species and draws together a wide range of people and organisations.

We must thank the players of the National Lottery and our other supporters including the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and People’s Postcode Lottery, whose generosity has presented this great opportunity.

Tenant Farmers Association Conference

A photo of Minister Eustice talking at a lectern room of people
Minister Eustice meets Tenant Farmers Association

The Tenant Farmers Association held their annual conference yesterday (14 November 2017). Speaking at the event the Farming Minister, George Eustice used this as an opportunity to provide the attendees with some insights into the potential future of agriculture outside the European Union which could reward farmers for providing environmental benefits. The story has received positive coverage in Farmers Guardian and Farming UK.

The minister of state said:

If we have a new, simple agri-environment scheme which rewards farmers for what they do for the environment, if we ensure farmers have a fair share of the value in the supply chain and if we help support farmers to invest to make themselves more profitable, we will come out at the end of this with a much more successful, much more vibrant industry which no longer feels it is dependent on having a single farm payment.

We recognise there is a lot of dependence on the single farm payment, which is why we have been absolutely clear whatever we do will be done in a gradual, transition phase.

The government has already committed to match the support farmers currently receive until the end of the parliament and we intend to go on supporting farmers for many more years to come where the environmental benefits of that spending are clear.
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