Common Agricultural Policy

Highland Cattle at Woodside Farm, Gavin Henderson Highland Cattle at Woodside Farm, Gavin Henderson

Across Europe, 86,000 recently people lobbied their MEPs on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the recent votes in Brussels sending over 1 million emails.

In the UK over 18,000 people contacted their MEPs with one MEP noting that it had been "her biggest postbag so far this year". Another MEP said it was so good to hear from the Wildlife Trusts as normally she would be lobbied by the National Farmers Union on such issues and this time was very pleased to hear the other side of the story.

The email campaign helped swing the vote in Brussels on CAP on 2 key issues:

• Greening the Single Farm Payment (worth over 2.5 billion pounds in the UK)
• Preventing a wasteful "double payment" for the same environmental activity from agri-environment schemes

However, despite welcome support in the European Parliament these issues will take some time to fully resolve. The final CAP package will be expected to finalised by the end of June. So this campaign will continue and we will be back in touch with you to get your further help on this vital work. It is so important to let MEPs know our views and they got the message loud and clear!

If there's one single thing that has shaped the UK countryside over the past 50 years it is the EU's Common Agricultural Policy which costs over £3 billion per year. The Wildlife Trusts will continue their campaign for radical reform of CAP to protect and restore ecosystems on which people and wildlife depend. Linking payments from CAP to environmental measures, such as creating flower rich meadows and field margins for insects and farmland birds and mammals would play a vital role in helping protect and restore nature right across the UK.