New information about local nature recovery and landscape recovery

silverfox

Member
Location
Shropshire
Headline in FG
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@Janet Hughes Defra
I am not sure why a simple question about the DEFRA budget for consultants associated with LNR would require clarification, however both or all and how will value for money in employing said consultants be demonstrated?
We have to demonstrate value for money in all our spend, we are audited internally and externally and required to demonstrate that we've achieved value for money. (We don't currently have a budget for consultancy associated with the scheme, we're designing it in-house in Defra in partnership with farmers and other experts)
 

silverfox

Member
Location
Shropshire
We have to demonstrate value for money in all our spend, we are audited internally and externally and required to demonstrate that we've achieved value for money. (We don't currently have a budget for consultancy associated with the scheme, we're designing it in-house in Defra in partnership with farmers and other experts)
care to comment on the press headline above . Hate to say it, but you have really misjudged this, to say the least .
My recommendation would be to go back to the drawing board and agree to carry on funding farmers via BPS until something better is sorted .
 

onthehoof

Member
Location
Cambs
I was referring to the 25 Year Environment Plan which includes supporting evidence and sets out detailed analysis and targets around biodiversity, water quality, air quality and water management (amongst other things): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/25-year-environment-plan
Plenty of bedtime reading there, but picking out what I assume is the evidence you refer to with regards to Landscape recovery and nature recovery, this evidence was taken in 2008 so you are basing your scheme on evidence that is 14 years out of date, I wonder how many of the objectives set out then have even got off the ground let alone achieved their goals.

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holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
Plenty of bedtime reading there, but picking out what I assume is the evidence you refer to with regards to Landscape recovery and nature recovery, this evidence was taken in 2008 so you are basing your scheme on evidence that is 14 years out of date, I wonder how many of the objectives set out then have even got off the ground let alone achieved their goals.

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And nobody has surveyed the land here for biodiversity in the last 30 years to my knowledge so our biodiversity could be anywhere on the scale. I accept that all such reports are based on estimates extrapolated from limited datasets but it does seem a weakness. Surely each farm should be assessed where is at now before changing too much?
 

topground

Member
Location
North Somerset.
We're designing the scheme in-house within Defra, in partnership with farmers and other experts; there's likely to be some external consultancy involved evaluating the scheme once it's live, we haven't set the budget for that yet, we will do that as we design and roll out the scheme
We have to demonstrate value for money in all our spend, we are audited internally and externally and required to demonstrate that we've achieved value for money. (We don't currently have a budget for consultancy associated with the scheme, we're designing it in-house in Defra in partnership with farmers and other experts)
Below is an extract from a DEFRA email received earlier this week.
from Local Nature recovery: User research sessions.
I took part and the interviewers confirmed they were consultants. There was one interviewer, an observer who asked questions at the end and another taking notes, there would have been a fourth I was advised but he was unavailable. @Janet Hughes Defra you state that you don’t have a budget for consultancy associated with the scheme, presumably these interviewing me weren’t doing it for free so I can only conclude DEFRA has signed a blank cheque.
Incidentally it was clear to me that these consultants didn’t have a clue what managing an all grass farm with grazing livestock was all about, no surprise since the grassland options are not conducive to making any return from livestock.


I’d like to invite you to take part in upcoming research. The research will be held online and last 45-60 minutes. During that time, we will ask some questions about your experience. This will be a conversation and anything we discuss will remain anonymous.

We are looking for insights and solutions for simplifying the scheme to make it less bespoke and still deliver environmental outcomes and ways to make options easier to understand, so that users understand what they are being asked to do. This will help us in defining and developing what option will look like for Local Nature Recovery scheme.

In the session we are exploring your views, experience and potential solutions in these three key areas:
  1. Options with standardised actions (i.e. mid-tier) versus tailored actions (i.e. higher tier)
  2. Outcome focused Options versus Action focus Options.
  3. Guidance – 3 scenarios:
  • Detailed aim from a tailored option - not guidance-led (from a higher tier CS)
  • Simple aim from a standardised option - partially guidance-led (from mid-tier CS)
 
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Plenty of bedtime reading there, but picking out what I assume is the evidence you refer to with regards to Landscape recovery and nature recovery, this evidence was taken in 2008 so you are basing your scheme on evidence that is 14 years out of date, I wonder how many of the objectives set out then have even got off the ground let alone achieved their goals.

View attachment 1012848View attachment 1012849View attachment 1012850
I think that's an appendix listing relevant previous government strategies, not the full list of evidence relating to the environment plan or our new schemes - we're basing scheme design on a range of evidence about what works and based on engagement, trials and piloting with farmers. We're always looking for more people to get involved in shaping the schemes so that they work for farmers, so if you'd like to get involved or have evidence you'd like us to look at please do let me know.
 
Location
Devon
Clear as night follows day that these new schemes will be an utter waste of time for both small and medium sized farms as things stand for several reasons!

Reality is that thousands of small/family farms will be driven out of the industry, unemployment in rural areas will rise to the extent that has not been seen since the 1930s depression, food price inflation will go thru the roof, the UK will be reliant on very expensive imports of food and so the long list goes on if this so called new sub regime with its utterly pathetic payment rates ever get introduced.

You say in your above post " Experts" @Janet Hughes Defra Who are these so called Experts???
 

britishblue

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Scottish Borders
I have a neighbour who works for Deloitte's assessing Government departments. She tells me that some are so shambolic that the people running them have no education or training in the department they are in. When they make a balls up they are simply moved on to another department . How many of that type do you think are in defra making up the new systems?
 

Jackov Altraids

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Devon
I was listening to Jeremy Vine today about the real level of inflation and the impact it has on those 'Just About Managing'. Recent increases in food prices are really hurting the poorest and it is going to get a lot worse.
When are the media going to wake up to this crime against society of taking money that subsidised food and giving it to the wealthiest landowners and the charities with friends in government?

It is a cruel and perverse course of action that keeps the right wing business and wealthy types happy and the left wing well intended enviro charity work types happy, while the common average person suffers.

If either side wasn't getting a nice pay-out, they would be up in arms at the other.

Just as Gordon Brown chose one of the worst times ever to sell off gold reserves, I fear time will show that this is probably one of the worst possible times to undermine food production.
 
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BrianV

Member
Livestock Farmer
I have a neighbour who works for Deloitte's assessing Government departments. She tells me that some are so shambolic that the people running them have no education or training in the department they are in. When they make a balls up they are simply moved on to another department . How many of that type do you think are in defra making up the new systems?
By the look of it pretty much all of them!!
 
Below is an extract from a DEFRA email received earlier this week.
from Local Nature recovery: User research sessions.
I took part and the interviewers confirmed they were consultants. There was one interviewer, an observer who asked questions at the end and another taking notes, there would have been a fourth I was advised but he was unavailable. @Janet Hughes Defra you state that you don’t have a budget for consultancy associated with the scheme, presumably these interviewing me weren’t doing it for free so I can only conclude DEFRA has signed a blank cheque.
Incidentally it was clear to me that these consultants didn’t have a clue what managing an all grass farm with grazing livestock was all about, no surprise since the grassland options are not conducive to making any return from livestock.


I’d like to invite you to take part in upcoming research. The research will be held online and last 45-60 minutes. During that time, we will ask some questions about your experience. This will be a conversation and anything we discuss will remain anonymous.

We are looking for insights and solutions for simplifying the scheme to make it less bespoke and still deliver environmental outcomes and ways to make options easier to understand, so that users understand what they are being asked to do. This will help us in defining and developing what option will look like for Local Nature Recovery scheme.

In the session we are exploring your views, experience and potential solutions in these three key areas:
  1. Options with standardised actions (i.e. mid-tier) versus tailored actions (i.e. higher tier)
  2. Outcome focused Options versus Action focus Options.
  3. Guidance – 3 scenarios:
  • Detailed aim from a tailored option - not guidance-led (from a higher tier CS)
  • Simple aim from a standardised option - partially guidance-led (from mid-tier CS)
Yes we do have contractors working in our team alongside permanent staff, like all government departments and many other organisations - can you tell me, what's the concern that's driving your questions, I'm happy to help if I can once I understand where you're coming from (to be absolutely clearly, I'm not trying to be awkward, I'm genuinely seeking to answer your questions in good faith)

(edit: accidentally pasted the question and and answered it twice, have deleted one...)
 

topground

Member
Location
North Somerset.
Yes we do have contractors working in our team alongside permanent staff, like all government departments and many other organisations - can you tell me, what's the concern that's driving your questions, I'm happy to help if I can once I understand where you're coming from (to be absolutely clearly, I'm not trying to be awkward, I'm genuinely seeking to answer your questions in good faith)

(edit: accidentally pasted the question and and answered it twice, have deleted one...)
As a taxpayer I would like to establish eventually how much taxpayers cash has been blown on a scheme or schemes to replace BPS which supported all grass livestock farms which appears to me to be designed to fail because the take up will be limited to landowners who do not have to rely on making a profit from grazing livestock such as RSPB and assorted Wildlife Trusts.
@Janet Hughes Defra you are welcome to have a look at my simple system and I will show you why grassland options at any level are a non starter.
 

YorkshireTom25

Member
Arable Farmer
After all these years of pathetic schemes dreamt up by Defra et al, I seriously wish that Defra was scrapped and subsidy gone. It would get rid of all these hanger on so called experts, and we wouldn't be over producing food so we would get a fair living from what we actually produced, politicans have interfered especially EU Cap and we have lost our true meaning.

However I do feel things are changing and maybe just maybe we will get the appreciation that we possibly deserve.
Unfortunately I can’t see us getting the appreciation we deserve!
 

Goweresque

Member
Location
North Wilts
@Janet Hughes Defra

Care to comment on this post?


This is the sort of thing that many farmers have to deal with all the time, and the rest of us dread falling foul of. My own BPS was once paid over 18 months late due to a error that was entirely Defra's fault. I was lucky that I had enough cash to hand such it did not cause me any great distress, for many without that cash buffer it could have caused extreme hardship. Is it any wonder we take a jaded view of the platitudes Defra are coming out with regarding ELMS?
 

Two Tone

Member
Mixed Farmer
@Janet Hughes Defra

Care to comment on this post?


This is the sort of thing that many farmers have to deal with all the time, and the rest of us dread falling foul of. My own BPS was once paid over 18 months late due to a error that was entirely Defra's fault. I was lucky that I had enough cash to hand such it did not cause me any great distress, for many without that cash buffer it could have caused extreme hardship. Is it any wonder we take a jaded view of the platitudes Defra are coming out with regarding ELMS?
I cannot understand the mentality of DEFRA.
Here we are discussing ELMs, which doesn’t officially start for at least another 2 years, when not only is it that they cannot deal with the present situation, but reduce our BPS starting 3 years before it allegedly starts. Why?

They cannot deal with paying my CS Mid Tier on time, despite my having repeatedly rung them and them saying that there are no outstanding issues to be cleared or dealt with.

Having applied for a new Mid Tier agreement well before the deadline, almost identical in every way to the one that has just ended, we have heard nothing as to whether or not it will go ahead. Leaving me pondering if I should take out the Flowery Margins and Nectar Plots already in existence and crop them with Spring cereals.

But worse still, I have ‘Supplementary food” here in stock that I absolutely refuse to put on until I at least get paid for 2021, as well as hear that our new 2022 agreement will go ahead.

How many wild birds have suffered and died in the recent cold weather due to DEFRA’s incompetence?

Yes @Goweresque , I totally agree with your:
“Is it any wonder we take a jaded view of the platitudes Defra are coming out with regarding ELMS?”

I know that I am not the only one in this situation and I think that @Janet Hughes Defra should take note, get DEFRA’s own House-in-order and get somebody to ‘Kick some arses!’ before she tries to explain DEFRA’s next potential disaster!
 
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DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
@Janet Hughes Defra

Care to comment on this post?


This is the sort of thing that many farmers have to deal with all the time, and the rest of us dread falling foul of. My own BPS was once paid over 18 months late due to a error that was entirely Defra's fault. I was lucky that I had enough cash to hand such it did not cause me any great distress, for many without that cash buffer it could have caused extreme hardship. Is it any wonder we take a jaded view of the platitudes Defra are coming out with regarding ELMS?
Precisely.
The existing system, (BPS and CS) isn’t even fully bedded in and and working yet, but they see fit to move on to a new system. Why? The present system provides every mechanism needed to achieve either direct area based support or payment for environmental work. All they needs to be done is to turn the dials up or down a bit. But leave the mechanisms as they are?
So what will LR and LNR bring to the party? LNR is just CS with a different name. The only thing I can see that is really new is LR. This will rely on multi land holder cooperation and agreements for which there is absolutely no mechanism in place and which will struggle to work at all when it gets to stage where legally binding contracts have to drawn up. It will be a mess and a minefield. I don’t think it’s been thought through.
We never learn. Wholesale change is extremely inefficient and expensive. Sweat the system that’s already in place. Get a return from those assets. Continues to smooth them out. But don’t bring in more change if you can possibly avoid it.
 

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