A Common Countryside Policy

11 August 2017

Confor's Chief Executive has called on UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove to deliver a common countryside policy after Brexit.

In an article published in The Scotsman, Stuart Goodall said that the Common Agricultural Policy was "a straightjacket, designed for a very different era and a very different set of challenges".
He said a new approach was needed to embrace all land uses and to deliver the "Green Brexit" promised by Mr Gove in his first set-piece speech in his new job.
"CAP has built barriers between farming and other land-uses like forestry, and interminable cycles of CAP reform and implementation have consumed the time and energies of generations of politicians and civil servants," Mr Goodall wrote.
He said forestry had to be a key part of an integrated new approach to rural policy and funding, adding: "Forestry does not ask for special future treatment, just a fair and level playing-field where all rural land uses have the chance to thrive. Confor calls it, simply, a common countryside policy, and will strive to ensure this integrated approach is central to discussions after Brexit. 
"Michael Gove has an ‘emotional attachment to natural beauty’, so I suggest he comes back to [his native] Deeside to see how emotion and good business sense combine to put forestry where it belongs - right at the heart of this new common countryside policy."

Read the full article here