It would seem that the main issue dividing the two sides is the issue of the 50%+ of farmers signing up to a commonage plan as prerequisite to joining GLAS. Perhaps the way around this is in the contents of the proposed commonage plan itself. To date the Dept. of Agriculture have not committed to what a commonage plan would look like, it is still a blank canvas and so its design can give both sides room to manoeuvre.
Suggested Commonage Plan.
Year 1 The farmers on this commonage will in conjunction with a specialist planner develop a grazing strategy for the commonage.
Years 2-5 The farmers on this commonage will implement the grazing strategy developed in year 1."
I think this would meet most of the farmers needs and allow the Dept. of Agriculture to proceed with the requirement for a 50% threshold for participation in GLAS. It also allows a year for the grazing strategy to be finalised and avoids the risks associated with a rushed plan prior to GLAS applications.
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