tractor in field

Farmers and other interested parties in England are being offered the chance to have their say on the future of environmental land management (ELM) by taking part in one of six upcoming webinars.

Following industry feedback on the disruption caused to the farming community by the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, the government paused the national conversation launched by environment secretary George Eustice earlier this year at the NFU conference.

Six webinars have now been set up to ensure that farmers and others in isolation can share their views on the proposed design of three tiers of entry, which will enable all farmers and land managers to participate in the new scheme at the right level, and help shape the new scheme.

While farmers are encouraged to sign up to and attend a webinar if they can, a policy discussion document on Citizen Space provides those who can’t attend with the opportunity to respond to the new policy ideas. Their views, experiences and advice will help to ensure the new scheme is co-designed with farmers across the country and does not repeat the mistakes of the past, according to the government.

Farming minister Victoria Prentis said: 'I very much look forward to working with farmers and land managers across the country to develop the future scheme and discuss how it will work on the ground.

'Many farmers and land managers are already contributing directly to the co-design of ELM by participating in the ongoing tests and trials and they’re doing great work to explore how the building blocks of the future scheme are put together.

'This conversation is a chance for farmers and land managers to have their say and help shape our future approach to farming alongside caring for the environment. I would encourage all those interested to sign up to an event and have their voice heard.'

Those interested in attending any event can sign up via Eventbrite, with the webinars taking place at the following times:

Wednesday 1 July – 12.00-1.30pm

Tuesday 7 July – 6.00-7.30pm

Thursday 16 July – 8.30-10.00am

Thursday 23 July – 12.00-1.30pm

Tuesday 28 July – 8.30-10.00am

Thursday 30 July - 6.00-7.30pm

Farmers looking to get involved in the webinars are also being urged to follow Defra on Facebook, as all followers will be notified of the links to sign up to webinars within the events on that page.

The deadline to share views on the document setting out policy ideas for the new scheme is 31 July 2020.