HC Deb 16 April 1999 vol 329 c391W
Mr. Kidney

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in what ways his Department plans to provide support for farmers in managing land so as to increase biodiversity. [79905]

Mr. Morley

The Government are fully committed to increasing biodiversity. MAFF operates a wide ranging package of voluntary environmental schemes aimed at encouraging farmers to conserve the countryside and its wildlife and thereby contribute to meeting the objectives of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Following the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review, we have announced that we aim to expand the area protected and enhanced under the major agri-environment schemes. During the next three years an additional £40 million will be available in England for additional agreements under these schemes.

MAFF also funds free initial on-farm conservation advice which is provided to farmers by ADAS and the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG).