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September 18, 2007 3:00 PM

Local MP Tim Farron, speaking yesterday in the tourism debate on the floor of the Liberal Democrat Party Conference in Brighton, has highlighted the vital link between farming and tourism. Mr Farron said that landscape is the foundation of our tourism industry and it is therefore essential to protect farming given that that landscape is maintained and managed by our farmers.

Speaking during the debate Mr Farron said: "Probably the most important part of Britain's cultural heritage, the bedrock of our tourism industry is our natural landscape. The thing is… that natural landscape, isn't entirely natural. It looks the way it does and its as accessible as it is because it is farmed and managed and has been for centuries. And yet, when the government thinks of its approach to tourism, it takes that landscape for granted.

"Farming gives us the landscape that we celebrate today. We mustn't't kid ourselves that there is some cheaper way of maintaining it - its estimated that farmers, provide essential work in maintaining our countryside to a value of £400m a year."