We have an absolute moral obligation to steward the natural environment that we live in, and to ensure a good living for the people who look after the land.

In the 20th century farming pulled off a miracle of productivity, generating huge yields to feed our growing urban population. But it did so by means of techniques - especially fertilisers and pesticides - that harm the soil and the water. The revolution in food production and processing also saw additives go into our diet to make it last longer and taste more delicious - but at a real cost to our health. The result is an environment and a population that are unhealthy.

Brexit means the UK no longer has to pay landowners simply to own land - a bad and wasteful system that did nothing for the environment or human health. The challenge now is to bring in a system that supports farmers to do the costly business of environmental stewardship without causing them to sacrifice land needed for food production (especially vital in an age of global insecurity). The new system also needs to be as simple as possible, and to give farmers long-term visibility of the money they can expect to receive. And we need to incentive - and where necessary compel - food processors to make affordable, nutritious food.

I am glad that following campaigning by me and others, the Government has recognised food production as the primary objective of farming, and ruled that stewardship schemes can only be used for a portion of a farm's land. We still have a way to go to get the farming economy right, however. I am particularly troubled by the incentives in the system to turn agricultural land in our beautiful county over to vast solar farms, and I am campaigning vigorously to change the rules on this.



An update to the Sustainable Farming Incentive - Wednesday, 27 March, 2024

It's important to remember that the primary job of farmers is to produce food for us to eat - thus ensuring our food security and maintaining a viable rural economy. It's right that the Government also subsidises pro-nature activity on farmland if this comes at a cost to farmers.

Backing our Farmers - 20th February, 2024

At the NFU Conference, today, the Prime Minister announced the next steps of the Government's plan for farmers. We have a strong agricultural sector across the Constituency,  and I am pleased to note that £16,440018.06 has been invested in the Constituency since April 2023. 

An update on nutrient neutrality - 2nd October, 2023

In August, the Government announced plans that would have unlocked over 100,000 homes held up due to legacy EU laws on nutrient neutrality across 62 local authorities, while still protecting the environment.