Sir, – There is a more positive prediction for the condition of the Scottish countryside than the bleak one which you painted in last week’s SF, if future farm subsidies are re-directed towards the environment. It is of farms on which food is produced at the same time as some of the drastic losses of wildlife and habitat of recent years are reversed. It is happening already on many Scottish farms, including those of our growing membership.

We invite anybody to come and to hear and see the difference. It is a world away from the “stagnant, overgrown and unsightly” countryside which you predict.

The ambition is that this approach, which does require a different mindset from the one which has been the norm, will be embraced by farmers and politicians as we transition from the EU. It is in the public interest that we as farmers should fulfil both roles with equal commitment. If we do it properly, it is in our interests too and those of us doing it know that the countryside will be a better place for it.

Michael Clarke

Scotland Chair,

Nature Friendly Farming Network,