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Harvesting August 2020
Harvesting in August Rupert Hardy

We want farming that works with nature

We are deeply concerned to support farmers, for without a prosperous farming sector there is little hope that the countryside will be well maintained. We strongly support local foods, which are good for farmers, consumers and the countryside. Buying local foods at local outlets is one way we can all support farming. Food grown and produced in traditional ways that do not harm the environment helps to conserve valued farm landscapes.

With farmland making up two-thirds of our countryside, farming is responsible for so much more than the food we eat. We need to support farming that puts back habitats for wildlife, provides fresh air and clean water, stores carbon and looks after the landscapes that make our countryside so special.

Farmers need support

Farmers need support to be able to give us the countryside we treasure. CPRE believes that farmers are entitled to long-term public subsidy to deliver, look after, conserve and manage the things that people want from the countryside – valued open landscapes and valued features such as hedgerows, habitat for wildlife, access to the countryside through a network of usable public footpaths and so on.

Farm diversification

We believe that farm diversification should respect its rural surroundings. As incomes from farming shrink, wherever possible, farmers are quite rightly seeking to develop new businesses in the countryside to give them a livelihood. Dorset CPRE recognises this, and the fact that it will create needs for new development – we accept that the countryside will continue to change. But we feel that new rural businesses which create a need for development should be based on, and be appropriate to, the countryside itself, rather than being the kind of new enterprise that could locate anywhere – and should go within towns and cities. If this approach to diversification is not taken, we fear that the countryside will become gradually more suburbanised, harming the very qualities which make it so highly valued.