HC Deb 20 June 1988 vol 135 c420W
Mrs. Gillian Shephard

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the interaction between the set-aside scheme announced on 14 June and the arrangements for environmentally sensitive areas.

Mr. MacGregor

The schemes have separate objectives. Moreover, while set-aside applies throughout the United Kingdom, environmentally sensitive areas are limited to particular localities.

Those farming within ESAs will be able to join the set-aside scheme provided they meet the conditions, but to avoid double payment on particular parcels of land, farmers will not be eligible for set-aside for any land to which an ESA agreement applies. A farmer in an ESA will have to consult the ESA project officer about the management of any land to be set-aside before he makes an application under the scheme.

Mr. John

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food upon what estimated take-up by farmers he based his agriculture set-aside proposals announced on 14 June.

Mr. MacGregor

As this is an entirely new scheme, and it is voluntary, it is not possible to make a scientific assessment of take-up in advance.