To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reasons the number of pilot projects initially envisaged as part of the environmental land management scheme has been reduced.
My officials are currently developing plans for the National Pilot of the Environmental Land Management scheme. Among other things, this will involve deciding how many farmers and other land managers will take part. Decisions on specific numbers have not yet been made. The pilot is likely to begin with relatively small numbers of participants to help test the prototype system, identify problems and make improvements. The intention is to increase numbers of participants throughout the three year pilot period to test the system on a larger scale.