Skip to comments.EU rules encouraging UK farmers 'to plow up grasslands'
Posted on 02/04/2012 2:22:56 PM PST by Olog-hai
Farmers in the UK are being encouraged to plough up some of the most quintessential English landscapes so that they can continue to claim European subsidies, experts have warned.
Wildlife-rich pastureswhich have made famous the New Forest clearings, the South Downs, the Cotswolds and the Chilternsare under threat after the EU proposed rule changes to the Common Agricultural Policy.
Experts have warned that to escape the penalties, farmers are already mowing down the grassland ahead of the 2014 deadline for registering their permanent pasturein case they want to plant them later.
Many such fields will be "improved" grasslandsactually monocultures with little natural value. But an estimated 100,000 hectares remain that are rich in different plants and fungi, and teeming with bees, moths and butterfliesthe result of more than 6,000 years of traditional farming practices and modern conservation.
"Our real worry is that this will drive a period of significant grassland loss through plowing," said Miles King, director of conservation for the Grasslands Trust. "We don't mind particularly if intensive agricultural grassland is converted to arable. However, the loss of unimproved or semi-improved grassland is very serious. There's so little of it left: every single bit really matters now. It's like somebody bulldozing a medieval church to put in a housing estate: these are as much a part of our heritage as any church or work of art."
(Excerpt) Read more at euractiv.com ...
The Stig will plow it all in record time with the speedy tractor he drives....
Or just have Jeremy detontate a lot of TNT.
Ah, yes, the law of unintended consequences.
I remember a few years ago Americans clearing their virgin pine forested properties to keep it from being declared the habitat of an endangered species.
Opposite effect of what was intended.
Middle-school students on a field trip discovered a rare burrowing insect on some fallow acreage in my state. They excitedly told the owner. The field they tripped to was plowed in less than a week; some accounts say overnight.
Hey, the Chinese need someone to grow their food.