FEARS that tenant farmers in Cumbria may not be able to access new Government public payments for public goods schemes have been voiced.

Defra is planning to relaunch its consultation on plans for a new Environmental Land Management (ELM) Scheme over the next few days. ELM is the new way in which the Government intends to reward farmers for the essential work they do in managing the environment, landscapes and animal welfare.

Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) Chief Executive, George Dunn, said: “The Government has recognised the difficulty that some tenant farmers will face in accessing schemes. This is especially where they are occupying under long-standing agreements with restrictive clauses, preventing them accessing schemes without their landlords’ consent. New arrangements are to be introduced within the Agriculture Bill to prevent landlords from denying consent on an unreasonable basis. However, this does not apply to those under more recent Farm Business Tenancies (FBT). Tenant farmers want to play their full part in schemes which enhance the environment, landscapes and animal welfare.There is no reason why they should be locked out from new ELM schemes."