CLA research suggests public backs government investment in countryside

A CLA survey suggests most do back public investment in the countryside.

A CLA survey suggests most do back public investment in the countryside.

Research commissioned by landowners’ lobby group the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) suggests most people think the government should invest in the countryside.

It found more than eight out of 10 people (84%) think the Government should spend money on preserving and managing the countryside, with 61% saying that there should not be a reduction in the current spend of £3bn a year.

Just over a quarter (27%) said the landscape was the feature they most enjoy about visiting the countryside and just under half (44%) half knew that farmers and landowners are responsible for managing it. Some 40% believe that the current spend is the right amount of public money to spend on the countryside while 21% thought it was not enough.

CLA East regional director Ben Underwood said: “It is reassuring to see that so many people have given a clear endorsement that the countryside matters to them.”

He added: “We have a unique opportunity post-Brexit to ensure farmers and landowners are better recognised for undertaking this vital work.

“The CLA has set out a vision for a Land Management Contract as a new way to deliver what is needed, using public money more cost-effectively to reward land managers for this wide range of public benefits. We will be promoting the contract to the government over the coming months to help develop a new food, farming and environmental policy.”

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