Farmers face being stripped of subsidies simply for owning land and required to prove environmental benefits in return for future payments.
Defra secretary Michael Gove has pledged to “put the environment first” when allocating future farming subsidies, with payments for planting trees, protecting birds and other environmental benefits.
About two thirds of the £3 billion paid annually to British farmers under the policy is paid per hectare, meaning the more land farmers own the more subsidy they receive.
Mr Gove told environmental groups: “One of my major concerns with the common agricultural policy is that it has been designed in such a way that it doesn’t put the environment first.”
(Source: The Times)