Farmers receiving EU cash must display billboards to let the public know

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Landowners receiving large amounts of European funding to protect the countryside must put up a billboard to publicise the fact, under mandatory regulations laid out by the European Union.

Farmers receiving more than 500,000 euros (£388,250) for investments under the Countryside Stewardship scheme, such as creating woodland of more than seven hectares (17 acres), must put up a permanent billboard where it can be seen by the public.

Landowners receiving more than 50,000 euros, the equivalent of £38,825, of EU funding for capital items must put up a plaque at least 30cm by 30cm (one square foot).

Those getting 10,000 euros or £7,765 during the lifetime of their deal must display an A3 poster, roughly the size of The Yorkshire Post front page.

The Countryside Stewardship scheme pays farmers and landowners subsidies through the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy for undertaking measures to protect the environment.

This can include measures such as the restoration of natural areas such as lakes and heathland, as well as creating woodlands and other natural habitats.

The regulations set out in the Government’s Countryside Stewardship manual warn that: “The poster, plaque or billboard must be put in place at the start of the agreement and must be kept in place for the duration of the agreement.

“Failure to display the required poster, plaque or billboard, or to replace those which are lost or damaged, will be a breach of the agreement and subject to a penalty or recovery of payments.”

According to the document, the majority of funding agreements which include measures over a number of years and capital items will exceed 10,000 euros, so at least a poster will be required.

The cost of these advertisements must be paid for in full by the farmer or landowner.