HL Deb 19 December 1989 vol 514 cc252-3WA
Earl Peel

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will ensure that continued reliance on agricultural subsidies based on headage payments for the less favoured areas will not lead to further irresistible overgrazing of heather moorland.

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Trumpington)

We shall continue to have regard to the need to conserve the countryside in determining the support arrangements for producers in our less favoured areas. In addition, the environmentally sensitive area scheme in the North Peak provides a financial incentive to farmers to adopt appropriate management techniques to conserve and regenerate the heather. The farm and conservation grant scheme also enables farmers throughout the country to claim grant at 50 per cent. in the less favoured areas (40 per cent. elsewhere) for the enclosure of areas of moorland and heathland with fencing to encourage heather regeneration by excluding stock as well as for burning heather and regenerating it by cutting.