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Tim Reveals 'Hay-Baling Past' At Local Farmers Meeting

November 6, 2015 3:26 PM

Tim Farron MP was the guest speaker at the Ambleside and District Farmers meeting yesterday. Tim led a two-hour discussion on the farmers' concerns about the industry and the wider problems faced in South Lakeland.

The Ambleside and District Farmers is a discussion group made up of around 50 farmers from the South Lakes area, who meet fortnightly at the Watermill Pub in Ings and invite a guest speaker.

Tim explained to the group how his own background - being brought up next door to a farm, and earning his first pay packet aged 13 baling hay - had given him an insight into farming, and into the challenges farmers faced. He recognised from an early age that farming was a "tough job" but one that was vital for our country's future. Tim added that farming was made much more challenging by a market which was all too often stacked in favour of large buyers such as supermarkets, at the expense of small farmers.

Tim argued that if supermarkets wished to run products such as milk as loss leaders it should not be the farmers themselves who have to bear the brunt of this strategy.

In a wide-ranging Q&A session following Tim's talk, he also discussed with the farmers their concerns. These ranged from the impact on the industry of a potential EU exit and the effects which World Heritage Site status for the Lake District might have on planning regulations, through to concerns about a lack of social housing in South Lakeland and the need for better mental health care.

Tim commented: "I very much enjoyed speaking to the farmers meeting. We covered a wide range of issues, and it was interesting to hear the farmers' perspectives.

Farmers have too few supporters in Parliament - so it's all the more important that I continue to fight their corner, and to put pressure on the government to create a fair market which works for the farmers as well as the consumer."