Sir, – It is with dismay and embarrassment for our industry that such an explicit and wholesale destruction of both our heritage and wildlife habitat has been allowed to happen in the fields just west of Gateside, in Fife.

This is both an indication of how lacking in firepower the Department (SGRPID) are when it comes to big issues and, more importantly, does no good for our collective industry image as custodians of the countryside. Both of which, arguably, underpin the political will to continue with subsidies – there are plenty of very good reasons for their abolition.

Watching miles and miles of ancient hand-built stone walls unceremoniously ripped out by an excavator amounts to vandalism on an industrial scale. We don’t own our land – we are looking after it for the next generation.

I hope the authorities find the means to ensure the fields and walls are reinstated at the cost of the perpetrator and dismiss the no-doubt forthcoming hollow excuses of efficiency etc.

Henry Cheape

Strathtyrum and Fossoway Farms,

St Andrews.