Letter: Farmers welcome tenancy law

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Sir: Andrew Marr ('Someone old, someone new', 28 July) uses the promised farm tenancy law reform to diminish the Prime Minister's recent policy speech.

However it may seem in London, this reform is very important to the future of farming as it adapts to an increasingly open market. It has implications not only for the taxpayer and the rural economy, but also for the urban perception of the countryside as a thriving and cared-for environment.

More than a third of English farmland is let, but this proportion is shrinking. Reform is needed to open this up so that owners who do not wish to farm are not deterred by the law from letting to farmers who seek to avoid the burdens of ownership. The industry consensus sees this best done by offering freedom over the length of lettings and a basic sensible framework for compensation and other matters.

The Prime Minister's promise to act this winter will be widely welcomed in the countryside.

Yours faithfully,



Tenant Farmers' Association



28 July