7 November 1997

Upland visits from 50 MPs

NEARLY 50 MPs have visited hill farms in recent weeks, at the invitation of the NFU, to see for themselves the conditions and financial pressures that upland producers have to cope with.

More visits were planned for the coming weeks, as part of the unions determination to get the message across to government that hill incomes are in a perilous state, said a union official.

Ben Gill, NFU deputy presiden said: "We must not forget that the high hill and hill farmers are the backbone of many beautiful parts of the country – the guardians of a managed environment. It costs money to keep our farmers in the hills.

NFU leader Sir David Naish added: "In many instances hill farming is the lifeblood of remote rural communities."