Using separate nationally representative surveys, this study compared the views and perspectives of farmers towards agricultural related conservation issues with that of the general public. Results suggest that both the general public and farmers expressed similar levels of concern regarding the environment as a whole. This is an encouraging sign when it comes to environmental protection, as it indicates a certain level of agreement between farmers as the group whose activities largely shape the quality of the rural environment, with the views of the general public who are the major consumers of landscape related environmental public goods. The analysis did, however, reveal important differences in attitudes in relation to certain environmental issues such as the relative importance of maintaining wildlife and habitats and having wild flora and fauna in the countryside. These activities could be seen as in conflict with farmers' productivist attitudes. We found no significant difference in environmental attitudes between farmers who have participated in voluntary agri-environmental schemes and those who did not. Results also suggest that there is significant heterogeneity in public attitudes towards environmental issues. Specifically, age, income, place of residence and presence of children were all significantly associated with environmental preferences. The study concludes that consideration needs to be given to the different views and perspectives of farmers and the general public in formulating policy aimed at providing an optimal mix of agricultural related environmental public goods and services. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.