HC Deb 13 June 1988 vol 135 cc47-8W
Mr. Flynn

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has any proposals to discourage the destruction of hedgerows and to encourage the planting of new hedgerows.

Mr. Gummer

The Government's voluntary approach to countryside conservation seeks to ensure that farmers are fully aware of the landscape and wildlife value of their hedgerows. This Department's Agricultural Development and Advisory Service encourages farmers to retain hedgerows where possible and provides advice both on their management and the planting of new hedgerows.

Grants are available to farmers under the agriculture improvement scheme at the rate of 30 per cent. (60 per cent. in the less-favoured areas) towards the cost of planting new hedgerows and hedgerow laying. In addition, as a special measure, grants are available to farmers at 60 per cent. for the replacement of hedgerows damaged in the storm of 15–16 October last year.