Farmers urged to be at 'forefront of climate action'

A new report says the British countryside 'holds the key' to tackling the climate emergency
A new report says the British countryside 'holds the key' to tackling the climate emergency

Farmers and landowners should be among those at the 'forefront of climate action' so rural communities do not bear the brunt of climate change, campaigners say.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said a 'radical rethink' of the role of the countryside in tackling the climate emergency was needed.

In its new report 'Greener Better Faster', the charity sets out how the countryside can be at the centre of the UK's transformation to net-zero.

To achieve this, it calls for the land use sector to re-wet and restore peatland, expand woodland and agroforestry and drive uptake of agroecological practices.



"Land should be valued in a way that respects the multiple jobs it can do – including and beyond producing food," the report said.

"Policies must support farming that stores carbon, puts back habitats for wildlife, provides fresh air and clean water, and looks after our precious landscapes."



The restoration and planting of England's hedgerows is included in the report, urging a 40 percent increase in their length by 2050.

A new generation of renewables - including solar, wind and hydro - would also benefit the rural economy, forming a 'cornerstone of local enterprise and jobs'.

Crispin Truman, chief executive of CPRE, said investing in nature-based solutions like peatland restoration would help 'tackle the climate emergency head on'.

"Some of the best ways to reduce our emissions also make our countryside more resilient," he said.

"That means properly investing in rural transport, delivering renewables and investing in nature-based solutions like peatland restoration and hedgerows."