Agriculture: Biodiversity

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th September 2018.

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Photo of Nicholas Soames Nicholas Soames Conservative, Mid Sussex

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to include predator control in agri-environment schemes.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Predator control plays a useful role in the conservation of ground-nesting birds. To date, English agri-environment schemes have not funded predator control although in some situations this may be encouraged through guidance. The current Countryside Stewardship scheme, for the first time, includes capital items which support the deployment of permanent and temporary anti-predator fencing. This helps conserve ground-nesting birds, which have been shown to benefit from reduced egg and chick losses due to mammalian predators.

Evidence for the efficacy of predator control for species conservation will feed into discussions on future agriculture policy.

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