On 30 November 2020, Defra published the long anticipated Agricultural Transition Plan: ‘The Path to a Sustainable Farming: An Agricultural Transition Plan 2021-2024’.
The Agricultural Transition Plan (ATP) covers the agricultural transition period which starts in 2021 and runs to 2027, whereby Defra will reduce and eventually stop direct payments. Defra plans to invest the money freed up by stopping direct payments, to support agriculture in different ways and by allowing the opportunity to access new schemes. Defra will pay farmers to improve the environment, improve animal health and welfare and reduce carbon emissions. The ATP sets out the changes Defra will make and what these will mean to farmers.
The ATP addresses tree planting and also tree health. It is well known that government is committed to increasing tree planting in the years ahead, with various short term and long-term tree planting targets (30,000ha a year by 2025 and increase canopy cover in England from 10% to 12% by 2060). The ATP document sets out further information on how government plan to incentivise new tree planting as well as tackle threats from pests and diseases.
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