HC Deb 18 June 2002 vol 387 c215W
Malcolm Bruce

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of countryside stewardship agreements her Department's Rural Development Service has visited in each year since the scheme began. [60673]

Mr. Morley

A programme of care and maintenance visits is carried out by technical staff from DEFRA's Rural Development Service. This programme currently aims to cover around 20 per cent. of agreements each year. These visits are not part of the separate compliance monitoring programme, undertaken by staff from the Rural Payments Agency which inspects 5 per cent. of agreements annually. Prior to the creation of the Rural Development Service in April 2001, care and maintenance visits were carried out by technical staff from the Farming and Rural Conservation Agency.

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