Doesn't sound as though Prof Blair has been out of his lab much, I wonder how the hell the gov' can give 170K to someone who views the countryside as 'That green place we drive through at the weekend'.
The river thing has already been done in a few places so nothing new there and the EC abolished set aside in 2008 so farmers are not paid to grow nothing.
When I lived in the UK and had a small involvement in agriculture I always used to love the families of walkers, they would come into a field 4 abreast through a field of barley or some other valuable crop, smart enough to read a map to find the footpath but too dumb to know the Right of Way through a crop is only 1 metre wide. Also too dumb and full of exercising their rights to have any respect for someone elses property. IoT footpath cameras, I say!