£1m of funding given to farms in the constituency of Southport to help protect nature and wildlife could be lost after the general election unless the next government acts, according to fresh analysis by Friends of the Earth.

The environmental charity has crunched the numbers for Southport to find out how much money is going to farms in the constituency under Environmental Stewardship funding agreements. The money is vital for both farmers and the local environment in Southport and it goes towards activities like restoring hedgerows, planting trees, reducing flooding and creating wildlife habitats.

The cash is paid to farmers as part of the European-wide Common Agricultural Policy but after Brexit this money will come to an end after 2020 unless the next government agrees on a replacement scheme. Without a new system to support farmers to manage their land sustainably, precious wildlife and habitats already under threat will suffer further.

Friends of the Earth are asking all parliamentary candidates standing in Southport to commit to maintain and increase support for farmers to protect the environment after Brexit.

Friends of the Earth food and farming campaigner Clare Oxborrow said:

“This funding is vital for nature and for local farmers. It helps to reduce flooding, create wildlife habitats, plant trees and restore hedgerows – but all of this could be lost after the general election.

“We’re asking all parliamentary candidates to commit to keeping and increasing this critical funding post-Brexit.”