Suffolk is still on the Campaign trail says chairman

A CAMPAIGN to improve the UK’s farming environment is delivering real benefits, says its Suffolk chairman.

Westhorpe farmer David Barker, who has just been asked to continue to chair the Suffolk Campaign for the Farmed Environment Committee, says he believes Suffolk has “one of the most effective committees” in the national campaign.

The drive is seeking to persuade farmers to voluntarily adopt environmentally-friendly methods and prevent the Government resorting to compulsory measures.

Plans for the continuation of the national campaign for the rest of 2012 are set to be announced at this year’s Cereals event on June 13/14 at Boothby Graffoe in Lincolnshire.

Campaign partners are now drawing up plans to take the major industry initiative forward after the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) agreed to fund an extension to the campaign until December 2012.

“I believe Suffolk has had one of the most effective committee’s with good representation from a wide variety of farming and environmental groups,” said Mr Barker. “Suffolk is near the top of the league for Stewardship renewals and I am particularly pleased we have seen a big increase in the area of wild bird seed crops planted.”

Mr Barker believes farmland birds are the best indicator of a healthy countryside and says he has seen a significant increase on his own farm. He praised the work carried out by Elizabeth Ranelagh, Will Birkin and Rob Cooper in the eastern region.

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Plans for the continuation of the Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE) for the rest of 2012 will be announced at this year’s Cereals event.


Victoria Hicks, national CFE project coordinator, said: “It’s excellent news that Defra has clearly recognised the value of our local campaign coordinators and the contributions made by farmers and land managers to support the CFE.

“Farmers and campaign partners have put a significant amount of effort into the CFE. Building on this fantastic work and momentum until December is great news for the industry and the environment.”

CFE partners will be announcing their agreed plans for the extension of the campaign on their stand (E533) at the Cereals 2012 event. It takes place on June 13 -14 and will be held at Boothby Graffoe, in Lincolnshire.