16 August 2002

Look out, London, the countrysides on its way

The voice of the

countryside comes to

London next month as the

second Countryside March

gets underway. Our

comprehensive coverage

begins with an introduction

to the event all rural Britain

is looking forward to

SUPPORTERS from the other side of the world will join thousands of people on the March for Liberty and Livelihood in central London on Sun, Sept 22.

The Countryside Alliance, which is organising the event, has received registrations from New Zealand, Australia and the USA. Delegations will travel to London from most European Union countries. A message of support has even been received from 50,000 Cypriots.

A clear message must be sent to the government about the solidarity of country people fighting for rural Britain, said Countryside Alliance chief executive, Richard Burge. "This is a fantastic opportunity for rural Britain to speak with one voice about all the threats to farming, country pursuits and rural businesses."

The march is about more than hunting, said Mr Burge. "Although the threat to the right to hunt is important, more than anything the march is about the liberty and livelihoods of rural people. We are trying to protect freedom of choice and to help make the countryside a viable place in which to live and work."

After years of falling farm profits, needless bureaucracy and politicians role in the catastrophe of foot-and-mouth, there is a real and justified sense of anger in the countryside, said farmers weekly Editor, Stephen Howe.

"farmers weekly is proud to support the March. It is an essential way of making politicians and key opinion formers aware of countryside concerns, concerns about the profitability and future direction of farming and the political will of our leaders to make it succeed in an increasingly competitive world market."

Over the coming weeks, farmers weekly will be continuing its campaign of support for the March. We will provide information about assembly points, transport times and routes to help you deliver a united message to the heart of London.

This week we are giving away a free car sticker. In future weeks, free posters will help you underline your support for what is expected to be Britains biggest ever rural protest. So watch out for these and other exiting initiatives.

To register your support and obtain an information pack, call 0900 102 0900. Calls cost 60p/min, max cost £1.80. Hours of operation 8am-8pm daily.

NUMBER CRUNCHING

&#8226 99,737 individual registrations.

&#8226 1789 chartered coaches.

&#8226 3625 reserved coach spaces.

&#8226 33 chartered trains for over 18,000 people.

Figures correct at noon on Wed, Aug 14.