Rural Communities, Brexit and the Environment, Environment Agency Fees
The government's handling of rural communities is having a "profound negative impact" on them, according to a House of Lords report - which recommends that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs should be stripped of its rural affairs brief.
A Lords select committee that's been looking into the Natural Environment and Rural Communities 2006 Act says the government is failing in its duties to protect and promote the interests of rural areas. It puts this down to severe budget cuts and inadequate resources - and suggests that Natural England needs more autonomy and funding to carry out its remit, while other government departments should take over rural affairs duties from Defra.
Caz Graham speaks to the committee's chair, Lord Cameron of Dillington.
As part of Farming Today's countdown to Brexit, today we're talking about the environment: and some of the UK's most influential environmental voices including the RSPB, the National Trust and the Wildlife Trusts, have joined forces in an organisation called Greener UK - which is scrutinising the progress towards Brexit. They want to make sure environmental protections and targets that apply to water and air quality, habitats and numerous other things aren't watered down.
Caz visited the Lancashire coast with Greener UK's Dr Richard Benwell, to find out more.
Anyone who carries out work that could potentially affect the environment has to apply to the Environment Agency for a permit. Earlier this year the Agency held a consultation into changes it was proposing, to the fees it charges for these permits, in order to cover its costs. It's just announced the results of that consultation with farmers and land owners, and some requests have been accepted with fees staying down, while in other areas permit costs have been raised.
We get a reaction from Diane Mitchell, the Chief Environment Adviser at the National Farmers Union.
Presented by Caz Graham; produced by Lucy Taylor.