The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has described the Government's announcement on Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding for 2014-2020 as a "lost opportunity to provide crucial investment in wildlife-friendly and progressive farming".
Ministers had proposed to shift 15 per cent of the European money for farming to support agri-environment schemes, but eventually opted for the more farmer-friendly 12 per cent.
Dr Gary Mantle, director of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, said: "At the last moment, ministers decided to reduce the amount from 15 per cent to 12 per cent.
"This may seem a small difference but it equates to over £400 million.
"This could have been used to support the many farmers anxious to manage their land in a more environmentally friendly way and support nature's recovery."