DEFRA to allow farmer ditch clearance?

The NFU says the Secretary of State for Defra Liz Truss has addressed just a part of the package of solutions needed to reduce flood risk in allowing permission for farmers to maintain ditches on their land. In her speech today at the Oxford Farming Conference Liz Truss announced, subject to parliamentary approval, that these permissions for maintenance of ditches up to 1.5km long would be granted following successful maintenance pilots.

After decades of heavily flawed environmental regulations that sees farmers, contractors and even the Environment Agency prevented from maintaining man-made drainage channels (ditches, canals, rivers etc) due to any potential disturbance of wildlife, DEFRA have finally suggested that the situation may need to be re-assessed.

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