Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Law

Research Student: Ms Pippa Wilding

To regulate or not to regulate? A critical evaluation into the regulation of agricultural land use in relation to conservation and biodiversity and the need for reform.

The main aim of this research is to critically evaluate how agricultural land use is being regulated. It will consider if there can be a balance between allowing those who work the land enough freedom to continue with their agricultural business and there being enough governance to achieve a sustainable environment.

The key problem / issue to be addressed is that, at present, it could be argued that there is an over-regulation of agricultural land and that land is not regulated in the most effective manner.

This piece will aim to put forward a workable solution, which achieves an acceptable balance between there being sufficient regulation to sustain conservation and biodiversity and working with the farming community to care for the land which they are custodians over: enabling them to use it in a way which enables the creation of a sustainable environment, whilst still allowing the farming community to run successful businesses.

There will be five main divisions of this work.

  • Consideration of the theoretical basis of agricultural land use
  • A historical examination of agricultural land use
  • A critical exploration of offering reward for compliance (Stewardship)
  • An evaluation of using financial reprimands as a way of agricultural land regulation (NVZ)
  • A workable solution as to how best to regulate agricultural land use in the future.

This piece will focus on two of the main regulations: stewardships and nitrate vulnerable zones focusing on whether regulations are actually effective or more of a ‘gold plating’ which has no real affect.

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