Westminster politicians could then concentrate on ensuring that the nation as a whole benefited from future subsidies paid to farmers. If the public wants to retain small fields and their hedges, which, as Roger Stratton (letter, 28 February) implies, are a handicap in competing with world market prices, then switch the arable aid Mr Stratton presumably now gets for his wheatfields into hedging grants. Likewise, set-aside and even extensification payments, which we currently receive for keeping livestock at lower stocking rates, could be tied to public access to those fields on a farm claiming them.
JOHN E TRICKS
Crediton, DevonReuse content