Farming Rules for Water Review

Defra has undertaken a short, targeted consultation on the Farming Rules for Water, aiming to gauge the level of knowledge of compliance with these rules across England.  In our CLA response, we highlighted that while there is a lack of awareness of the rules themselves, many farmers and landowners are nevertheless taking action to reduce pollution risks from their land.  This response was supported through a survey of CLA members.

Defining a new baseline and assessing the implications of change to SSSI reporting metric

Natural England consulted on a change to the way Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) condition was measured and reported for official statistics.  The CLA response highlighted the risk of this change leading to negative impacts for land managers with SSSI land.  You can see the original consultation page here:

: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/natural-england/changes-to-the-measurement-metric-used-to-report-o/

GN03-21 Natural Capital Tools, Assessments and Plans

This Guidance Note accompanies two others on the topic of natural capital and environmental markets (GN04-20 Natural Capital, Public Goods and Environmental Markets and GN17-20 Guidance for identifying and entering new environmental markets).  This Guidance Note looks at the different ways of measuring, assessing and reporting on natural capital for land-based businesses.  It will briefly cover the reasons for undertaking a natural capital assessment and considerations about the type of assessment most suitable.

Green Heat Network Fund

BEIS issued a call for evidence on 30 September 2020 to help shape a forthcoming consultation on the design a new Green Heat Networks Fund, which is proposed to be available from April 2022.  Heat is responsible for around a third of UK greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonising heat is a key requirement in order to meet government Net Zero ambitions.  A growth in the heat networks sector based on low carbon energy sources will be an important way to achieve this.  In our response CLA calls for the GHNF to be designed to provide support to small rural heat networks of a few properties as well as large networks serving thousands of properties in cities.  Rural areas are off mains gas and oil heat dominated - so offer much in the way of potential decarbonisation of heat by replacing oil boilers with low carbon heat networks using biomass and heat pumps.  There are a great many clusters of rural properties across the countryside where the heat networks model could be usefully deployed thereby helping rural areas to play their part in reaching our collective Net Zero ambitions.

GN17-20 Guidance for identifying and entering new environmental markets

This guidance note is intended for those members considering entering environmental markets or seeking payments for environmental management of their land.  It follows on from a previous CLA guidance note, 'GN04-20: Natural Capital, Public Goods and Environmental Markets', which introduces the concept of natural capital.  This note goes into more detail about the types of opportunities available (both now and in the near future) and helps members understand and evaluate the offers.

Challenges and Choices

The CLA responded to the Environment Agency Challenges and Choices consultation in September, outlining our vision for the future of water management in England.  In our response, we noted that farmers and landowners play a key role in maintaining the water environment, managing flood and draught risk, abstracting and using water efficiency and delivering public goods related to water.

England Tree Strategy

Defra consulted on the development of a new Tree Strategy for England between June and September 2020.  CLA have engaged extensively with its members on this since autumn 2019 through our branch and national committees.  Our early engagement shaped and informed the consultation document and more recent member engagement helped us to refine our positions on key issues and to answer Defra's specific questions.  Our response is in two parts - a document with answers to the Defra online consulation questions, accompanied by a further document making additional points which the online form could not accommodate.

England Tree Strategy - Survey

Defra consulted on the development of a new Tree Strategy for England between June and September 2020.  CLA have engaged extensively with its members on this since autumn 2019 through our branch and national committees.  Our early engagement shaped and informed the consultation document and more recent member engagement helped us to refine our positions on key issues and to answer Defra's specific questions.  Our response is in two parts - a document with answers to the Defra online consultation questions, accompanied by a further document making additional points which the online form could not accommodate.

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