A People’s Manifesto for Wildlife was published in September 2018 – how do the experts chosen to contribute as Ministers to the ‘first draft’ of the Manifesto reflect on what they wrote and proposed a year ago?
…these tax breaks are spread very unevenly across the farmed landscape and I would suggest that many of them go to the places that need them the least…
Miles King | Minister for Farming and Food (One Year On)
Miles King is an ecologist, CEO of the charity People Need Nature (PNN), and has been working in UK nature conservation for more than 30 years, leading conservation work at Plantlife, The Grasslands Trust, and Buglife. He says on his ‘A New Nature Blog’ that he now realises he knows less than he thought he did when he started. But he clearly knows enough to have been asked to serve as Minister of Farming and Food. And given that based on last year’s government figures agriculture utilised 71% of the UK’s land area, that was always going to be an important role within the Manifesto
Charlie Moores spoke with Miles in November 2019 for the podcast series ‘A People’s Manifesto for Wildlife Revisited’.
We covered some of the points and proposals Miles had made in the Manifesto, including issues of food waste and tax benefits (which he examined further in a Report for PNN called “Where There’s Muck There’s Brass“). I began though by suggesting that while in the twelve months since the Manifesto came out there had been a great deal of attention focussed on the environmental harm caused by intensive agriculture – culminating in the State of Nature Report 2019 which highlighted that farming and climate change were the key drivers of biodiversity decline – the link between biodiversity loss and agriculture really shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone paying attention…