Silly"" Plan For Wicken Fen Does Not Need European Money
PUBLISHED: 11:57 14 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:11 04 May 2010
YOUR readers will know that I am not a big fan of the National Trust s so-called Wicken Vision, but I had assumed until recently that this silly plan to take fine food-producing Fen land out of production relied for its funding on the National Lottery, ge
YOUR readers will know that I am not a big fan of the National Trust's so-called Wicken Vision, but I had assumed until recently that this silly plan to take fine food-producing Fen land out of production relied for its funding on the National Lottery, generous grants (of taxpayers' cash) and money given by members of the Trust and others.
Having been prompted to delve further and having threatened to invoke the Freedom of Information Act, I have now been informed by the Trust that the Wicken Vision is also supported to the tune of many thousands of pounds annually by the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) through the latter's various schemes that are believed by many to have been intended for the support of European agriculture. I receive a relatively small sum myself and most of my land is farmed well (with the help of a neighbour) and is used for food production. I recently commended a much larger-scale neighbour for his fine farming and remarked that he will soon receive a substantial sum on the basis of his farming his land properly and his keeping it in good heart.
The National Trust has now owned up to expecting to be in receipt of at least £121,000 per annum for practicing the opposite of good farming. It is busily applying for much more money in years to come and, all, so it seems, for letting land in its hands go to rack and ruin and growing thousands of thistles.
Anyone can grow thistles. Growing thistles is extremely easy. It needs no European CAP encouragement nor support.
This is a European CAP scandal and this European CAP scandal needs to be exposed.