To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason landowners and farmers are no longer compensated for allowing permissive access to their land under the sustainable farming initiative; and whether he has plans to offer payments under a different initiative.
3 March 2022
As set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan, the Government is a great supporter of the health and wellbeing benefits that access to the countryside can bring.
Support for increasing access into the countryside will be made through existing schemes and support mechanisms already in place, such as Countryside Stewardship which saw a 40% increase in uptake last year. We are still considering our approach to support for increasing and maintaining access to the countryside in our future schemes, including our environmental land management schemes.
To boost investment in the meantime, we have launched a new Farming in Protected Landscapes programme in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty - this includes funding for farmers and land managers to provide more opportunities for people to explore, enjoy and understand the countryside.