The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is urging shoot managers to take part in the Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE) by making an entry on its online database every time they plant covercrops.

Peter Thompson, biodiversity advisor with the GWCT, said: ?This is a fantastic opportunity for the shooting community to show its conservation credentials by backing the campaign. It?s very simple to register and could help to ensure its success.?

The CFE is an industry-led initiative launched by the National Farmers? Union and the Country Land & Business Association, and supported by organisations such as the GWCT. The campaign involves farmers and other groups working to replace and enhance the environmental benefits previously provided by set-aside

land on a voluntary basis. If the CFE does not reach its targets, one of which is increasing voluntary unpaid environmental management by at least 30,000 hectares by 2012, the Government could replace it with a compulsory scheme that would take five per cent of land out of production.

The GWCT warned that failure to deliver this target could restrict shoot managers in the long term. Mr Thompson said: ?I think I would call a future compulsory scheme ?set-aside with attitude? because it might mean that shoot managers could lose control over where set-aside is positioned and how it is managed. This could be disastrous for the shoot.?

The rest of this article appears in 13th October issue of Shooting Times.

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