Hill farmers becoming an endangered species - Farmers Weekly

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Hill farmers becoming an endangered species

20 July 1998
Hill farmers becoming ‘an endangered species’

HILL farmers are becoming an “endangered species”, according to the latest survey conducted by the National Farmers Union of England and Wales (NFU).

It found numbers of hill farmers were declining as more and more young people rejected the long hours, poor pay and harsh weather.

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Hill farmers becoming an endangered species

20 July 1998
Hill farmers becoming ‘an endangered species’

HILL farmers are becoming an “endangered species”, according to the latest survey conducted by the National Farmers Union of England and Wales (NFU).

The NFU has issued the “alarming” results of a new survey showing the extent of the decline affecting livestock farming.

It found numbers of hill farmers were declining as more and more young people rejected the long hours, poor pay and harsh weather. It found thousands had given up and more were expected to follow.

Even in the lowlands, the survey showed that only 1% of newcomers were younger than 24. And about 76% of all livestock farmers are now over 45.

Some 85% of farmers saw a fall in incomes in 1997, 80% had either reduced or frozen the rate of investment in their businesses and 24% had paid off staff.

NFU president Ben Gill blamed the effects of the beef crisis, rising costs to protect consumers and the strength of Sterling.

The union will hold a conference in London on 10 September to tackle the problem of keeping young farmers in the hills.

  • The Daily Telegraph 20/07/98 page 8

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