A recent report in the Independent newspaper saw the loss of 200,000 ha of lard out of farming in the last 6 years, to make way for alternative use. Forests, farmland and wetlands are being cleared to make way for new housing, mineral extraction, golf courses and other non-farm use. Much of that was good land and that means an equivalent loss of production of, say, wheat in one year of over 30,000 tonnes or a value of £4 to 5 million per annum. Which we will now import. We produce the safest food in the world and we are sliding into importing everything. Are our elected representatives, the civil service and planners completely insane? Please can we plan for a few years ahead beyond the next election or step in their index-linked pensions?
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 20 April 2017