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WWF - Poll : Strong public support to help farmers adapt to changing climate

As Scotland’s agriculture sector gears up for the annual Royal Highland Show next week, new polling shows that the majority of people in Scotland are fully behind farmers being better supported to produce our food and protect nature. [1]

  • 89% say farming and crofting has important role in tackling climate change and restoring nature
  • 74% believe farmers should be paid for how they manage their land and produce food in nature friendly way

The survey carried out by Survation for WWF Scotland found 54% believe that farmers should be paid for how they manage their land, currently payments depend on acreage, and that they should produce food in a nature friendly way.  89% also say that farming and crofting has an important role to play in tackling climate change and restoring nature. 

Other findings include:

  • 74% believe farmers should be paid to produce food and protect nature and reduce emissions
  • 76% say it’s important that the food they eat is grown and produced in Scotland

Arina Russell, Senior Policy Manager at WWF Scotland said:

“At a time when farmers and crofters have been dealing with the devastating financial and mental health impacts of flooding and cold temperatures affecting livestock and the planting of crops, it’s great to see such strong public support for them.  We know that adapting the way we manage land can make farming more resilient and able to cope with our changing climate, [2] but we need a change in funding to make this happen. 

“2023 and the first six months of this year have left us in no doubt that climate change is happening here and it’s happening now.  Land managers have battled with drought followed by never ending rain leaving many parts of the country under water for weeks on end.

“The financial, human and livestock cost of this shouldn’t be underestimated and so, as the Scottish Parliament debates the new Agriculture Bill, it’s vital that MSP’s of all parties grasp this opportunity to future-proof farming for decades to come.”

Stuart Mitchell from Whitriggs Farm in Hawick said:

"To reliably produce food in a financially and environmentally sustainable way farmers need to get ready now. Support should be aimed at making farmers more resilient to extremes such as weather and increasing costs. 

“For farming to be viable in the future we need to have a focus on the basics of farm health. If a farm has healthy soil it will be resilient to the changing climate and will then have healthier and more productive crops and animals. In a healthy farm environment both a farming business and nature can thrive together.”

Notes to Editors

[1] Survation polling results

https://www.survation.com/wwf-scotland-pr-tables/

[2] Impacts of Extreme Weather on Scottish Agriculture - WWF Scotland farming report 

https://www.wwf.org.uk/our-reports/impact-extreme-weather-events-scottish-agriculture

 

Original article link: https://www.wwf.org.uk/press-release/poll-strong-public-support-to-help-farmers-adapt-to-changing-climate

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