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The agricultural abyss

Published on February 12th, 2014 by

Farm damage Lowther National Park SSSI

One finds very quickly in this age of a Britain dominated by agriculture that to fight the corner of conservation is all well and good, unless what is said and done amounts to any sort of negative comment or action towards farming. There are those of us who know the countryside, whose lives have been dominated by rural activities; fishermen, hunters, walkers, photographers, artists, scientists, ornithologists… There are a lot of us.  Apparently, our vote is not worth a lot, however, at least not if our voice clashes with the louder, overwhelmingly raucous shout of agriculture.  There is absolutely no doubt that intensive farming activity has completely wrecked the British landscape.  The comparative few have benefitted, while the taxpayer has fuelled the destruction; by paying for it.  The novelist Martin Amis once referred to the ‘bollocks of British countryside’, utterly in the context of what agriculture has done to it.  While it has been ‘politically-incorrect’ to refer to agriculture in these terms, and perhaps today it is almost taboo to speak thus, I for one completely oppose this submissive view.  Modern farming practice has been completely ruinous to the landscape, to wild habitat and to wildlife in Britain.  I am sick of seeing our once world famous wild trout rivers being degraded by agriculture. Catchment sensitive farming practice is laudable, for sure, but it is tiny, and wrapped in EU legislation, and, finally, again underpinned by the gullible European taxpayer.  There is a joke here in Cumbria, perhaps nationally, that if you want to avoid paying taxes, buy a farm.  I think that almost none of the taxpaying voters out there know that one.  A breath of rational reading: Click here.  How does this message transcend the taboos and penetrate the public mindset?

 
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