22 November 1999
Tough time for Surrey farms

FARMERS in Surrey, the rich county often seen as the home of the City stockbroker, are having a tougher time in the current crisis than Welsh counterparts, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph.

The newspaper reports that one-tthird have sold up in the past four years or moved to areas where land is more fertile and labour costs are lower.

A study by Surrey County Council and the Agricultural Development Advisory Service has found that more than 20% of farms in Surrey were at risk of immediate failure, and another 30% might go out of business in the next three years.

Land used for farming in Surrey has fallen by almost one-fifth since 1991, from 46.5% to 37%, a survey for the current issue of the Surrey Wildlife Trusts Nature Line magazine found.

A spokesman for the Countryside Association said there was a greater proportion of farmers in Surrey at risk of failure than in Wales.

He made the point that they do not get the grant help available to Welsh farmers.