There was once a time when farming was guided by the weather, the soil and no small amount of hard work. Unfortunately those days are now just a distant memory.
There is a phenomenon that increasingly has a great deal of bearing on our industry. We saw it recently with the whole sorry episode surrounding the mishandling of General Licences and the misguided involvement of the pressure group Wild Justice. It is when environmental legislation becomes progressively more draconian and as is often the case, when ‘poorly drafted’ slowly transforms into something far more terrifying, overbearing and cumbersome than was ever originally intended.
The prime example that springs to mind is the Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) Regulations. Even as originally conceived as a means of protecting semi-natural habitats, it was a good example of these seemingly endless layers of new legislation – but it was, in practice, relatively easy to interpret and, as a hurdle to land management decisions, only really ever a problem if you had your heart set on some dangerous steep ploughing on the scarp slopes of the South Downs.
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Article by Alex Macdonald Open PDF