IFA Environment + Rural Affairs Chairman Harold Kingston has described the information campaign of the Departments of Agriculture and Environment regarding the new land improvement and drainage regulations as ‘inadequate and ineffective’.
As farmers receive an information leaflet about the new regulations with their 2011 Nitrogen and Phosphorous statements, Harold Kingston said, “The information sheet, while welcome, is insufficient.”
“The Department of Agriculture, the Department of Environment and other bodies such as the Office of Public Works have always engaged directly with the farmer at a series of information meetings, when a new scheme or piece of legislation is introduced.”
“However now they have decided to put a summary page in the post and refer farmers to websites or Teagasc offices. This is inadequate and will be ineffective in communicating this new land regulation, which may have a significant impact on any farmer who is considering developing their holding, carrying out necessary drainage works, re-contouring or removing hedgerows.”
Harold Kingston concluded, “It would be wrong of the Department of Agriculture to impose any penalties on farmers, before fully informing them of their responsibilities under the legislation.”