HC Deb 08 November 1999 vol 337 cc689-90
39. Mr. Andrew Robathan (Blaby)

What is his policy relating to the conservation of wildlife on Church Commissioners' land. [96162]

Mr. Stuart Bell(Second Church Estates Commissioner, representing the Church Commissioners)

The commissioners have an overall wildlife and conservation plan, which was drawn up by the farming and wildlife advisory group for each of their agricultural estates. The plans are adopted and implemented as appropriate.

Mr. Robathan

I am glad to have that response. However, as the Church Commissioners examine investments ethically, will they move towards ensuring that all farming on Church land is environmentally friendly—that ties in with the previous question—and wildlife friendly? The Church Commissioners could thus—dare I say it—put their money where their mouth is and take a truly ethical stance by preserving the countryside.

Mr. Bell

The Church Commissioners take those matters seriously and consult their managers regularly. In view of their support for wildlife, we take environmentally friendly farming into account, but game shooting and foxhunting are matters for the agricultural and sporting tenants to determine.