To: Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Save our fields
In view of recent food issues, please can you persuade the government to rethink the idea that farmland is a good option for developing into housing estates. As we have a large population growing larger, isn't our food supply and its origins of prime importance to us. We need to support our very efficient farmers so that they can supply large quantities of food thus providing work and good quality food. The UK ranks lowest in food security in Western Europe states the Economist Intelligence Unit. We should not be allowing the sale of good farmland for building as this grossly inflates the price of the land and encourages already struggling farmers to give up and sell up. We need to protect the land as in the past for future generations, once the land has gone our ability to feed ourselves will become increasingly difficult and other countries are not as fastidious as us in their food production as has recently been seen. They could also decide they need their food to feed their own population and withdraw supplies.
Why is this important?
In our village, farmland is under threat by many large developers. They obviously find fields an attractive proposition as they can just clear away the trees and hedges and build and this is more profitable than using brownfield sites however this is NOT the answer. Apart from homes, more importantly we need food that is safe to eat. I am sure this problem is an issue all over England since the government decided it was fine to build on green spaces which have previously been protected. Farmland is not just beneficial for providing food, it also helps with absorbing water and giving space to wildlife all of which assist our own health and well being.