The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has published its summary of responses to its consultation on a National Pollinator Strategy for Bees and Other Pollinators in England which closed in May last year.
Farmers and landowners accounted for 61 of the 331 responses received, and in particular raised concerns about the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and an expectation and reliance on the voluntary actions of farmers.
In response, Defra said: ‘Farmers have opportunities through the new CAP to make positive changes for pollinators, building on existing stewardship agreements and voluntary measures actively promoted by the Campaign for the Farmed Environment. As part of the new Countryside Stewardship programme, a wild pollinator and wildlife “package”, developed in consultation with partners, will describe clearly and simply for farmers the best choice of options to deliver essential requirements for wild pollinators. We will also be exploring how the targeting and scoring mechanisms of the scheme and advice can enhance the delivery of this package.’
Farmers also reiterated that they needed to be given sufficient support to ensure that supporting pollinators was economically sustainable. The full response document can be found here.