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A letter from a farmer

CPRE Gloucestershire member and farmer Jeremy Chamberlayne wrote to us about the recent BBC documentary Extinction: The Facts.

“I watched the David Attenborough programme – ‘Extinction: The Facts’, with the eye of a muddy boots farmer, who has been a CPRE member for twenty years. It should be required viewing for every politician in the land. We all need to own the problem. In the whole of my lifetime, human activity – basically consumption of food, all consumables and travel, has piled pressure on the whole ecosystem.

CPRE is about the protection of rural England, but this is a complex and difficult issue, touching all aspects of national life and it does not fit with conventional levels of consumerism. And, as the film emphasised, it is a global issue. If we buy biodiesel made from palm oil, we are part of the destructive process ourselves.

UK farming has a lot to offer to improve our local ecosystems and our carbon footprint. We have some great role models, but we can only do this if UK farming can survive financially, with our markets protected from cheap food imports, from countries with much lower levels of environmental protection and where virgin land is being brutally cleared for agriculture.

So, to protect rural England and the world ecosystem, we need to protect British farming, which not only feeds us, but manages our landscape.”