Your report of September 8 is astonishing. The attitude of the farmers at Sutton St James defies credulity. They appear to have forgotten that this whole area was barren until the Dutch came over to show us how to drain and control the water.
Vast sums of money, plus time and effort, were used to make the land some of the most fertile in the country.
Vast sums of money, plus time and effort, were used to make the land some of the most fertile in the country
As John Hayes has noted, it became highly productive under the husbandry of diligent farmers for more than four centuries.
Now the present generation claim it is fit only for fodder. Why? Obviously they have failed to care for it, which is a betrayal of their ancestors and others who created the efficient drainage scheme (I once worked for the drainage/river boards in my youth).
Having rendered the land unfit for growing much-needed food for an ever-increasing population, the farmers now want to sell-off the barren land and live off the proceeds.
They claim ‘the village’ wants this solar farm, though those who are not landowners clearly do not.
What about farming employees being out of work? Food will have to be imported, increasing its cost.
Solar panels on rooftops are by far the best option. Even the smallest roof can produce enough power for the needs of its occupants, with an option to sell surplus to the National Grid.
Every home in the country can benefit as well as public buildings, offices, factories and churches. Every building has a roof.
Panels are neat and look like dormer windows, almost invisible from ground level. Sprawled across acres of land, they are an eyesore, far worse than wind farms, under which crops can still flourish.
At present, grants are available to help with the cost of installation; the benefits outweigh expenditure. It’s a win-win situation for all participants, not just farmers who want to give up their responsibilities.
I am, by the way, country born and bred. My late father had a steam threshing business until the war ruined it; later replaced by combine harvesters, which he also worked across Lincolnshire.
Instead of blaming Mr Hayes for their misfortunes those farmers should examine their own failures. After heavy rain, one can always see which farms have failed to maintain the underground pipes which begin the drainage process. They have large pools of surface water.
The land soon returns to the bog marsh which Henry VIII described as ‘the most God forsaken place on earth’.
Every village, even Spalding, has its fen (there is even an unexploded bomb which sank down into the silt during the war).
I can personally vouch for the fact that John Hayes listens and acts for his people.
Unlike the many failed farmers, he is true and dedicated.