SIR, – I was so hoping that the sheep and cattle would regain their reputation during this present lockdown and it has been proven that since the outbreak of Covid-19 the air quality all over the affected world has improved no end due to the lack of transport; road, ship and air.

This will, of course, include air quality in the honey spots of tourism, especially the Lake District.

Having watched a BBC episode of Paul Rose, in the Lake District, I was disgusted to see the erosion to and on the top of Coniston Old Man. Without the footfall of thousands, the fell environment will have the chance to regenerate and prove that the problems are not the 'woolly plague', as sheep have been so named.

The fact that they have been on our fells for thousands of years, it is so strange that all of a sudden they are causing all the problems? And don’t let us forget that cattle burp and pass wind, oh, and of course, so do we.

What hypocrisy, much of the environmental campaign appears to be as there seems to be no sign of the banning of motor sports and tourism, the dozens of lorries transporting commercial wood around the countryside, thousand of lorries coming across the channel bringing in imports, wood imported from Brazil to make toilet rolls, space travel including the newly launched first commercial space ship, the launching of thousands more satellites into space and the destruction imposed to make these benighted creations, etc, etc.

Another report during this epidemic has been on second homes being claimed as holiday lets; avoidance of council tax etc, which, in my opinion, for a second home should be double. There are plenty of properties for people to live in, which would increase community, but tourism rules.

Yet thousand of, end to end houses are being built, many on good agricultural land. Take Carlisle, for instance, on good agricultural land a 10,000-home 'garden village' is planned in the south of the city which already has multiple developments.

The question is where the people are coming from to live in them and, more to the point, what are they going to do for work as at present there are now thousands out of work and businesses collapsing all over the country.

This last 12 months or so has seen raging fires throughout Europe, America and Australia, widespread floods, tornadoes and earth quakes and a plague of locusts throughout the African continent causing massive famine – and the Far East is still in conflict with thousands of refugees and now, of course, this disease pandemic.

The basis for life be it plant or animal, is nutrition, that includes humanity. There has never been such a large population of the human race, all needing feeding, hence I have difficulty accepting that farming and food production requires subsidising.

Having just caught up on reading The SF another thing I am disgusted by is reports of imported food stuff when our own producers have to throw away produce. Self-sufficiency should be priority for none of us know what the future holds.

I disapprove of intensive farming – cattle feed lots in America with growth hormones, zero grazing dairy units etc. The import of soya to feed stock is a no go to my mind especially not so many years ago soya was deemed an unhealthy food for humans causing all kinds of ills.

Native breeds were bred to do well on their local environment, fed naturally and economically on land organically cared for. It is, on the whole only this past 150 years that farming has become conventional and organic the also ran.

Why is it that organic is not the ‘conventional? This would be a much more sustainable and environmentally friendly regime providing nutritionally healthy food.

Politics and money rule. Many of the ‘high heid yins’ are from landed gentry, or of wealthy inheritance and when the decision was passed to leave the EU, many of these transferred their holdings abroad. Basic folk need basic rule not people who abide in Westminster and cannot see passed their bank balance and ego!

Christine Hudson

50 Rowanburn,