Letter: Town or country

Sir: For a group who are traditionally thought of as conservative and Conservative, farmers appear to be amazingly partial to redistribution of wealth on an epic scale. I fail to see why I should pay taxes and higher food prices to no useful purpose other than to keep farmers in Mercedes.

You report (leader, 29 January) that only 2 per cent of the workforce is now in agriculture. If it is no longer economic to farm the land in an environmentally friendly manner and make it pay, why does the nation not simply withdraw from this market and allow the land to revert to the wild? For those who are particularly fond of the artificial landscapes which farmers have created - the dry stone walls of the Pennines and the prairie dustbowls of East Anglia - some areas could be kept as theme parks. A national woodland would be a remarkable gesture for the millennium.

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