The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs is the UK government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Defra’s broad remit means they play a major role in people’s day-to-day life, from the food we eat, and the air we breathe, to the water we drink.
Defra’s priority is a productive, competitive farming sector – one that supports farmers to provide more home grown, healthy produce made to high environmental and animal welfare standards.
The new flagship Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme is being co-designed working with farmers and land-managers to replace schemes currently available under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The aim is to enable the creation of a more dynamic, self-reliant agriculture industry, making sure that food production today does not come at the expense of food production tomorrow.
Under the ELM scheme, farmers will be paid for work that enhances the environment, such as tree or hedge planting, river management to mitigate flooding, or creating or restoring habitats for wildlife. Farmers will therefore be at the forefront of reversing environmental declines and tackling climate change as they reshape the future of farming in the 21st century.
Defra is pleased to continue working with LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) and supporting the excellent work of LEAF Open Farm Sunday in encouraging people, particularly from our cities and towns, to re-connect with food production and the natural environment. Showcasing the best of British farming — one that is innovative and productive as well as improves the environment — helps the public have full trust and confidence in our food and the welfare of our animals. Defra would like people of all ages to know where their food comes from and how they can work with farmers for the benefit of their local community. Farm visits play an important part in helping people, especially children, to learn more about nature and food production allowing schools to use the farm as an ‘outdoor classroom’.
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