Paying farmers to 'do nothing' happens across mainland Europe, just as it does here. I have to look out daily (in France) over a huge field of Brambles as proof. I can understand these young farmers' (below) reluctance to lose their 'money for nothing', but I, for one, hope they do.
The rather pompous sounding Government's 'Environmental Land Management Scheme' is simply another way of saying 'leave your land permanently fallow and we'll pay you good money to watch the weeds grow'.
These days we really need our farmers to grow things; preferably edible ones. Our need for fruit, veg', meat, milk, eggs, and grains, will only get greater. As a nation we must import less, and produce more. The last time we were in a similar situation was during, and after, WW2 when 'Dig for Victory' became the byword. There has to be a new 'Return to the Land', and we must make sure that those who do are well remunerated.
Most farmers have the kit required for preparing soil, sowing, or planting. All they need is the incentive. Farmers have always been concerned for the environment without having to be paid, and they will again. It's in their interest to look after their own land. Paying people not to do what they do best is pure irresponsibility. I did note that the protesters above all seem quite young. I imagine they're all looking for a quiet life on Daddy's farm once they leave the RAC Cirencester
As an example, I recently bought a jar of Gherkins that hailed from Poland; why are these not grown and bottled in the UK? Nothing is easier to grow and process; I used to grow them commercially in France myself! This is outrageous. Whilst the government is paying our farmers to sit at home and (I imagine) listen to The Archers, we are supporting Polish farmers who are actually prepared to grow what other countries need.
A government report into the continuity of these unnecessary ELMS payments is about to be published any day, and I for one hope that they see sense, and are stopped. Would the Ministry of Art and Culture (?) have paid me not to paint? Of course not, nor should they pay farmers not to farm.
Let's make sure our farmers are well paid to produce what the country needs, and not to sit around watching the weeds grow. We grubbed-up acres and acres of Apple orchards to placate the EU, now is the time to accept what folly that was, and get planting again.
The UK is a 'green and pleasant land', and there isn't a lot we can't grow here (other than the obvious). Time to roll up those sleeves, and get out on the land. Your Country Needs You.