Urban farming ‘like war zone’
By BBC news – Monday, 21 October, 2002
Copyright: BBC news
Farming on the edge of towns and cities is like working in a “war zone”, according to hundreds of farmers trying to make a living on the urban fringe.
Prostitution, joy-riding and illegal raves were just some of the problems encountered, according to a survey of 2,000 farmers published on Monday.
Some 32,000 farms in England and Wales now operate on the edges of towns and cities.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) says that for many urban farms the problems of close proximity to highly populated areas make for tough and unique challenges.
Almost 70% suffer from fly-tipping – the dumping of industrial and domestic waste on farmland – while a third have problems with travellers camping on their land.
Joy-riding is a common headache, with almost half of respondents – 43% – complaining of the menace.
NFU environment chairman John Seymour said: “Many farmers on the edges of towns and cities sometimes feel it is like working in a war zone.
“They report a grim list of problems from vandalism to prostitution that you wouldn’t expect to find in the countryside.”
The NFU intends to lobby national and local government for a number of measures, including more visible policing.