Political pragmatism is not something that we have become used to in recent times – and it's been a while since we have commented on it here – but it would appear that some common sense is starting to come out of Westminster in the headlong rush into renewables and trees.

The reference for this comes from our story on page 6, which points out growing opposition – at least in England – to covering acres and acres of good land with solar panels. It should be restricted only to farms that have poorer quality land, say the new forces to be in government.

There's no such sense yet being shown in Scotland, as we hear increasingly that many sound, productive arable and livestock farms are progressively becoming plastered with photo-voltaic units and all deemed acceptable by a short-sighted policy, which is seen as some kind of beauty pageant through green-tinted specs only.

It's the same argument with tree planting on quality land and maybe that will be next in the firing line for Ms Truss' Government (if it survives that long!). For those 'thinking' politicians, it is becoming somewhat of a worry that blanket forestry, without fear nor favour when it comes to gobbling up productive farm land, will skew the country's natural ability to feed itself to such an extent that importing foodstuffs will be the only option, thus leaving us at risk from foreign manipulation (just look at how Putin has manipulated the oil and gas trade?).

What's most dangerous about this evergreen blanket is that it is pushing land prices beyond sensible levels and at artificially subsidised rates. Even marginal hill land is being regularly quoted at £8000 per acre and land that, not too many years ago, would have been traded at a tenth of that, or less.

That does nothing for food security, very little for the landscape, nothing for new entrants and eventually very little for tourism. Who wants to drive through an area where there is nothing but tunnels through tree cover?

Snail mail

Once again, we have to apologise in advance for any late arrival of this newspaper because of strikes by Royal Mail.

While our usual news-stand copies should arrive dead on time, the chances are that the strike on Thursday this week and another planned for next Thursday, will have a serious knock-on effects to our subscription copy deliveries. We can only apologise and hope that a Saturday delivery is possible.

As per usual during these straitened times, our subscription holders can make use of a code which will allow them to view all of our pages on-line. Who knows ... you might even like that better!