The amount of state aid given to each farmer for looking after landscape and wildlife is be made public for the first time according to an article in today’s Times. The article states the information is to be released today on the website of the Government’s landscape adviser Natural England. The information is to be added to the webpage for agri-environment schemes.
Sir Martin Doughty, chairman of Natural England, announced the new transparency in an interview with The Times.
Sir Martin says that taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent in the countryside. About £1.7 billion is paid to English farmers under the CAP, the bulk of it in farm support. About £320 million is allocated for green farming schemes and is paid to about 32,000 farmers, roughly a third of the total.
Apparently, users will be able to type in the name of a village, parish or postcode and find out which farmers in the area have signed up to environmental stewardship schemes and the cash received. The website will also provide a list of environmental work agreed to by the farmer. There may also be a feedback section where people can report on what farmers are doing.