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Natural England searches for England's most innovative farmers
03/07/07

Natural England launched its 'Future of Farming Awards' scheme at the Royal Show on 2 July. The new scheme will celebrate environmental excellence and innovation in farming.

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It will recognise those farmers who have made the greatest contribution to both conserving England's special wildlife and landscapes whilst helping people have greater access to our natural environment.

The Future of Farming Awards scheme was launched by Dr Helen Phillips, Natural England's Chief Executive. Speaking at the Royal Show, Dr Phillips said: "I'm delighted to announce the launch of the Natural England 'Future of Farming' Awards, celebrating excellence and innovation in English farming.

"The aim of the Awards is to recognise the achievements of farmers who have set a new standard for environmentally friendly farming, and provided inspiration to others. In essence, the Awards will highlight the 'new' contract between society and farmers, in which farmers supply public goods and services to the public."

A winner and runner up will be chosen in August from each of England's nine regions by a regional judging panel made up of regional Natural England specialists and representatives from the farming industry. A national panel will select the overall winner, and runner up, to be announced at a special event this autumn.

The criteria used for judging this year's award will reflect Natural England's integrated approach to management of the natural environment. Entrants will need to demonstrate:

  • First-rate land management practices that boost biodiversity, public access opportunities and landscape conservation.
  • A good understanding of the economic, social and environmental opportunities that biodiversity, public access and landscape conservation brings.
  • Pioneering management of the natural environment in one of access, biodiversity or landscape that sets a new standard for the future.

In future years Natural England will expand the Awards introducing more categories to recognise other areas of environmental excellence.

link Natural England supports Year of Food and Farming
link Young People Wanted for A Life On The Land
link Traditional landscapes are changing says Natural England
link Who Will Pay For The Countryside?

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