DEFRA consultation on Local Nature Recovery plans

I had an email from Defra last week, bollocking me for emailing the members of the Elms Engagement Group. Anyone concerned about the current allocation of ELMS money across its three strands, should make their views clear to the members of the EEG - contact details attached.
If you don't get an email bollocking you, then you aren't trying hard enough.
How are you supposed to "engage" with your representatives then...?
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
I’ve long had the feeling, since being at school really, that we aren’t trusted to look after the land and that there is a large group of “we know better” people who have built “careers” in DEFRA, NE, and various ecological bodies. Their views and opinions arise due to sitting in offices and armchairs, not getting involved in practicalities or needing to make the job pay to earn a living.
Ultimately we need food and reliance on imports is a dangerous policy especially when things get tight globally.
I also would ask these people how much wilderness we actually need? Along as we have a core reserve of habitat, and I think we do, then why do we need more? What purpose will it serve and why is it a priority in times of food supply insecurity and rising prices.
Sadly though it appears the government is now completely infiltrated with William Morris type champagne ecologists who’ve never felt the hairs on their neck stand up as 29 tonner has pulled out the yard bearing the produce of a years worth of work and worry.
As Bernard Montgomery once said we seem now to have politicians who are mostly second rate lawyers and it’s shows. It really does. So clever at arguing but absolutely useless at keeping the wheels of commerce and industry turning, with their attention constantly diverted into Ponzi schemes and tax payer funded wheezes which are slowly bankrupting the country.
This contrasts with what I see on the ground. Farmers still trying to grow crops, against all the obstacles, silly diversions and negativity thrown at them.
So I largely ignore what DEFRA and the government has to say. It’s rubbish. Keep calm and carry on. Do a tidy job, on time, simply and carefully. Stick to what we know works and we’ll be alright.
So can I engage with the consultation process? No not really. It’s completely alien to me. A completely different ball game to what drives me and motivates me. If they want to turn this place into a wilderness then they can buy it off us and do it as they like but I’ll have no part in running down 300 years of careful agricultural improvement and progress, so other than that there is absolutely nothing more I can say to them.
The trouble is they aren't going to "buy it off you", it appears they are planning to just legislate to make you accept it happening anyway.
 
Last edited:

Nearly

Member
Location
North of York
I’ve long had the feeling, since being at school really, that we aren’t trusted to look after the land and that there is a large group of “we know better” people who have built “careers” in DEFRA, NE, and various ecological bodies. Their views and opinions arise due to sitting in offices and armchairs, not getting involved in practicalities or needing to make the job pay to earn a living.
Ultimately we need food and reliance on imports is a dangerous policy especially when things get tight globally.
I also would ask these people how much wilderness we actually need? Along as we have a core reserve of habitat, and I think we do, then why do we need more? What purpose will it serve and why is it a priority in times of food supply insecurity and rising prices.
Sadly though it appears the government is now completely infiltrated with William Morris type champagne ecologists who’ve never felt the hairs on their neck stand up as 29 tonner has pulled out the yard bearing the produce of a years worth of work and worry.
As Bernard Montgomery once said we seem now to have politicians who are mostly second rate lawyers and it’s shows. It really does. So clever at arguing but absolutely useless at keeping the wheels of commerce and industry turning, with their attention constantly diverted into Ponzi schemes and tax payer funded wheezes which are slowly bankrupting the country.
This contrasts with what I see on the ground. Farmers still trying to grow crops, against all the obstacles, silly diversions and negativity thrown at them.
So I largely ignore what DEFRA and the government has to say. It’s rubbish. Keep calm and carry on. Do a tidy job, on time, simply and carefully. Stick to what we know works and we’ll be alright.
So can I engage with the consultation process? No not really. It’s completely alien to me. A completely different ball game to what drives me and motivates me. If they want to turn this place into a wilderness then they can buy it off us and do it as they like but I’ll have no part in running down 300 years of careful agricultural improvement and progress, so other than that there is absolutely nothing more I can say to them.
I'm voting Wazzock!
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
I did try to get elected once upon a time.
My manifesto was essentially to do nothing as at that time everything was more or less alright as it was. That doesn’t win votes though. You have to promise expensive schemes and run up debt to get elected.
Frankly it’s a hell of a mess now yet the government seems to be trying to dig an even deeper hole.
So we have shortages of all sorts of things including wheat which we are importing. And we are concentrating resources on making more nature reserves thereby reducing food production. It’s about as mad as you can get really.
What about building reservoirs to mitigate future water supply fluctuations? It’s another supply crisis that’s slowly creeping up and will be almost impossible to solve quickly enough if we leave it too late like the power generation shortfall.
Before we get too enthusiastic about nature reserves we really ought to be ensuring that the country has sufficient infrastructure and industry to keep the lights on and to keep people fed affordably and safely.
They are fiddling while Rome burns IMO.
 

Flat 10

Member
Location
Fen Edge
Chin up chaps :) . The best way to predict the future is to design it. Or, in this case, co-design it.

UK ag holds all the cards here; ownership of the land, the optimum environmental use of that land in grazing livestock, the trump card of putting food on folks tables.

If UK ag allows ELMS to be anything other than a scheme that works in farmers favour, then it wont be the fault of Government, the quangos, or the landed gentry, but farmings fault for wasting the hand it holds.
If only we could trust the Union that represents farmers to do a good job.... oh wait :banghead:
I'm with the Dr here I can't engage with these tossers I'm trying to run a business.
 

delilah

Member
Well, I am still awaiting a response after signing up to DEFRA's offer to me, to help co-design ELMS!

Maybe they are overwhelmed with responses from the NGO's and Charities...

Having had a bollocking from Defra for sending my suggestions to the ELMS Engagement Group, and then asking them why this was a problem, I had the below reply. Clear as mud. They seem to be obsessing over managing the process of co-design, when they should be focused on taking on board any and all suggestions however they may be submitted. If I was on the ELMS Engagement Group I would be asking myself if it was any more than a box ticking exercise.


Thank you for your email and apologies for the delay in response. You are, of course, very welcome to contact any organisation of which you belong to, or represent, with your ideas for future farming policies. However, we would very much like to make sure those ideas get to the right policy team here in Defra, who are able to properly consider them. So we would like to politely ask that instead of using the Environmental Land Management Engagement group (EEG) circulation list, you instead send any thoughts you have on our environmental schemes directly to [email protected] so we can ensure they get to the right place.

The Environmental Land Management Engagement group (EEG) is our core stakeholder group helping us to co-design aspects of our new environmental schemes. This wide-ranging group represent a whole raft of different sectors, so we ideally only want information going to all of them when it is relevant for all sectors to be aware of. We use thoughts and feedback from this external group as one of the many routes to help us design our Policy.

I hope this has cleared up any confusion caused, and look forward to helping you share your ideas with our policy teams here in Defra.
 

devonbeef

Member
The trouble is they aren't going to "buy it off you", it appears they are planning to just legislate to make you accept it happening anyway
I have completed this but there seems to be a disconnect as without any mention of compensation or funding as well as an assurance that land can still be farmed then this would appear to Nationalisation by the back door.
communist plan it seems
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
It’s seems to me as if the notion of private land ownership is being slowly and quietly diluted. With the government or maybe local community effectively assuming a large role in the management of your land it could be the case that you become the “owner” on paper only, with very little say in how your land is used in the future. This could very well devalue an agricultural asset very substantially.
I’d be very careful of accelerating this process by signing up to anything before it’s been throughly scrutinised by a legal expert.
I’ve said before I am having absolutely nothing to do with it. I can see it ending up like the terms and conditions of many bank accounts. Open to constant variation by the unilateral action of the government with yourself as the “customer” powerless to do very much about it.
Personally, with a business doing OK agriculturally with a simple efficient set up and the prospect of better returns going forward, I need a local nature recovery scheme like I need a hole in the head.
 
It’s seems to me as if the notion of private land ownership is being slowly and quietly diluted. With the government or maybe local community effectively assuming a large role in the management of your land it could be the case that you become the “owner” on paper only, with very little say in how your land is used in the future. This could very well devalue an agricultural asset very substantially.
I’d be very careful of accelerating this process by signing up to anything before it’s been throughly scrutinised by a legal expert.
I’ve said before I am having absolutely nothing to do with it. I can see it ending up like the terms and conditions of many bank accounts. Open to constant variation by the unilateral action of the government with yourself as the “customer” powerless to do very much about it.
Personally, with a business doing OK agriculturally with a simple efficient set up and the prospect of better returns going forward, I need a local nature recovery scheme like I need a hole in the head.
Well put.

I am also assessing all the older margins and some old setaside areas here that I was happy to keep about, as they are great for the Barnies etc. They will look far too tempting to interfering ecologist types for my comfort. Roundup next Spring I think ☹️

We need to make our farms as unattractive for wildlife as possible, just to stay safe. Madness :mad:
 
Last edited:

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for nature but I’d rather make my own decisions as to far it extends on our plot.
Downstream of us, in the forestry commission plantation they seem to be on with some kind of “nature recovery” programme. They are deliberately felling trees into the watercourses to create some kind of winter flooding mess. A bigger mess than it is already. The problem I see is that once other trees are water logged for protracted periods they die or blow down easily as their roots won’t hold in the sand. It can’t make it easy for the logging contractors either. I’m really quite concerned that commercial viability is being entirely sacrificed on the alter of this new kind of eco fascism. It worries me that farmers could well be next and I would have thought that the NFU and CLA really ought to be drawing a line in the sand whereby any infringement of commercial agriculture by any kind of compulsion to turn private land over to natural recovery will absolutely not be acceptable or tolerated.
Is anybody else concerned about this or will we wake up to fund that compulsory natural recovery programmes on private land is a fait accomplis.

Edited to add that the consultation process was handled by the District Council Planning Department. The consortium behind the application was the government funded Chalk Streams project quango, Natural England and a few others who I can't remember.
As our drainage moves through the downstream area affected, we were consulted but there is a considerable fall from our boundary across the project area so by the time it starts backing up on our boundary here it will be well over chest height in the local town beyond the project area and in the homes of the few residents who live in the project area. My approach would to be to keep the watercourses reasonably clear to keep the water moving which has worked well for years. Their approach seems to be to hold it back, which is all very well until the holding capacity is full, at which point the water cannot be shifted at a reasonable speed as the watercourses have been deliberately obstructed and silted up and the land has no sponge effect as its permanently saturated. The project seems designed to create some sort of wetland in the woods, but its been pretty wet in there for years. It's also designed to slow the flow of water down into the town. Well it might do temporarily but I have my doubts once its saturated and the commercial damage to the timber enterprise must be very considerable.
"Interesting" times.
 
Last edited:
The charm offensive for LNR. I cannot see anything in there that couldn't be achieved via appropriate options in the SFI. Scrap the LNR. It's bureaucracy gone mad.

https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/2021/10/22/bigger-better-more-joined-up-conservation-on-farms/
I liked this comment mind...


"Encouragingly, most of the Breckland group members said that this mapping tool was useful for them, and they were more likely to engage with coordinated landscape-scale conservation as a result of this test and trial. However, maps alone are only part of the solution.

For many of them, the crucial detail is the payment rates they will get for delivering options in schemes like this.

On some farms, if those payments aren't competitive, the conservation work is unlikely to go ahead. This would prevent our blueprint from turning into a reality. "


I would hazard that the above should read All Farms and Most of them?


I guess the Million Pound question, is who has pushed for the Higher Tier elements of ELMS, and why?
 

CHAP Webinar - Innovative tools to overcome the challenges of Regen Ag

  • 118
  • 0
https%3A%2F%2Fcdn.evbuc.com%2Fimages%2F186160299%2F486662465563%2F1%2Foriginal.20211115-160823


Applying principles of regen ag can incur a range of on-farm challenges. Learn how innovative tools & machinery can help with these hurdles.

This event will be held online from 1pm to 2pm on Thursday 2nd December 2021 so please block it out in your diary.

About this event​

Intro
This...
Top