Workable ways needed to keep countryside beautiful, says CLA

The Association has submitted its response to the Government's consultation Biodiversity Offsetting in England which illustrated the crucial need for new ways to maintain the countryside.

CLA Deputy President Henry Robinson said: "We need to find new ways to pay for the wildlife and habitats we all want, and biodiversity offsetting may be the way to do it.

"We simply cannot expect current levels of public funding for the natural environment to continue. We need to find new ways of paying for them."

Biodiversity offsetting is a system under which developers offset the environmental impact of their development by paying farmers and landowners to provide new habitats for wildlife.

The aims are to improve the way in which the planning system deals with biodiversity issues, by making it quicker and more certain,  and to improve the state of the natural environment.

The CLA said that while the details of biodiversity offsetting are complicated, it strongly supports the Government's desire to make offsetting a reality. 

Mr Robinson added: "Offsetting exists in a number of other countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Germany and parts of America. 

"The circumstances in each country are different, and none of them provide a model we can directly copy but we must learn from their experiences and adapt them to the English countryside."