§ Mr. Newens
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many individual farmers during the course of the past five years have been paid grants for the removal of hedges as well as grants for providing, replacing or improving shelter belts or shelter hedges; and if there are limitations on provision of both to the same farmer.
§ Mr. Strang
I regret that information about the number of farmers and horticultural growers who have received grants both for removing hedges and for providing, replacing or improving shelter belts or hedges is not readily available and could be obtained only at dispropor-690W tionate cost. Before 31st March 1972 both lowland and hill farmers could qualify for grants under the Farm Capital Grant Scheme for removing hedges or for providing, replacing or improving shelter belts or hedges. Since that date, however, with one exception, these grants have been available only to hill-land farmers. The exception concerns work relating to drainage schemes; where removal of a hedge is a necessary part of a drainage scheme grant is available for that purpose irrespective of the location of the farm. Grants are available to growers under the Horticulture Capital Grant Scheme, and were previously available under the Horticulture Improvement Scheme, for both the purposes mentioned. Under the Farm and Horticulture Development Scheme grants are similarly available to farmers or growers where the work forms part of an approved development plan.