A clear vision for the countryside is vital to enable growth in the rural economy and to enhance the natural environment once the UK leaves the European Union.
Christopher Price, CLA Director of Policy and Advice, told members of a Lords Select Committee how the Government can improve its support for rural communities post-Brexit.
Giving evidence on the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, Mr Price said: “It’s now well over a year since the European referendum and there has been no clear steer from the Government about its overall vision for the countryside.
“People who live and work in the countryside deserve more in order to prepare for the future. We need to have a commitment for a productive and profitable farming sector. We need higher environmental targets which are properly funded and we need to ensure that those who run other businesses in the countryside have a sustainable future.
“The Government must better recognise the full range of benefits that the countryside can provide, not only food production but biodiversity, flood management, carbon storage and landscape. These should be properly incentivised with any unreasonable obstacles to their delivery removed. The Government should then set out a clear vision for how they are going to deliver and promote these services so those living and working in the countryside know where they stand long-term to help remove uncertainty.”