Environmental charity Friends of the Earth have warned that £1.6m of EU green farming subsidies in Eastleigh could be lost after the general election unless the next government acts.
The campaigners say the money is currently going to local farms under Environmental Stewardship funding agreements and that the cash is vital for both farmers and the local environment in Eastleigh as it goes towards activities like restoring hedgerows, planting trees, reducing flooding and creating wildlife habitats.
The subsidies are paid to farmers as part of the European-wide Common Agricultural Policy but after Brexit this money will come to an end after 2020 unless the next government agrees on a replacement scheme, and say FOE, without a new system to support farmers to manage their land sustainably, precious wildlife and habitats already under threat will suffer further.
Friends of the Earth are asking all parliamentary candidates standing in Eastleigh to commit to maintain and increase support for farmers to protect the environment after Brexit.
Friends of the Earth food and farming campaigner Clare Oxborrow said:
“This funding is vital for nature and for local farmers. It helps to reduce flooding, create wildlife habitats, plant trees and restore hedgerows – but all of this could be lost after the general election.
“We’re asking all parliamentary candidates to commit to keeping and increasing this critical funding post-Brexit.”