Some of the UK?s leading conservation organisations could find their funding from Europe dramatically slashed after new proposals to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) were revealed.

The changes, designed to cut the EU?s agriculture budget and stop huge payouts to rich landowners, would see funding to charities such as the National Trust and the RSPB capped at ?300,000 per year (£263,000).

An EU spokesman said: ?The Commission is proposing to support farmers? income in a fairer, better targeted and simpler way. Basic income support will cover only active farmers. It will be degressive from ?150,000 per holding and capped beyond ?300,000, taking into account the number of jobs created. It will also be distributed more equitably between farmers, between regions and between member states.?

It is believed that the National Trust could face cuts of millions of pounds if the proposals are passed in 2014 following a debate in the European Parliament.

A spokeswoman for the organisation said: ?There are job cuts that could be made and we may not be able to sustain farms.?

The rest of this article appears in the 9th November issue of Shooting Times.

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