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Thursday, 5 September, 2002, 09:24 GMT 10:24 UK
Honeymoon on a demo
Steve and Sally, photo by Alan McDonald
The pair run a fish farm and smokery in Padstow
Sally Bentall, who runs a fish farm in Cornwall with fiance Stephen Laurie, is putting her honeymoon on hold so they can go on the Countryside Alliance's Liberty and Livelihood march later this month.

We're getting married on 20 September and had planned on going away for a small honeymoon.

Today smaller farms get pushed out - they can't afford to stay

But when we found out that the Countryside Alliance march would be two days after the wedding, we decided to postpone the honeymoon to support the protest.

So on the Friday it'll be a smallish wedding in the local church, and then straight up to London with our baby in tow. In fact, about half of our 50 guests plan to go on the march too.

March put off from last year
The last march was called off due to foot-and-mouth
It certainly is going to be a rush, so we're flying. Our honeymoon will now be in October or November - we hope to spend a week shooting in Scotland.

I want to go on the march because it's important to me to defend our freedom of choice, our way of life. If the government gets its way and bans fox hunting, then where will it stop? Will they ban shooting and fishing?

We should be able to choose whether to do these things or not - not because government says that you can't.

Fox hunting
Critics say it is a thinly-veiled pro-hunt campaign
To be honest, a ban on such sports wouldn't have a huge effect on our business.

But it would affect us personally.

Steve goes fishing and shooting; I go hunting, and I'd like Daisy, our daughter, to have the choice to do those things when she's old enough to decide.

Forced out of farming

In the 12 months prior to moving here last May, Steve worked on a dairy farm in Worcestershire. But as the price of milk was dropping all the time, his bosses decided to sell up and he got made redundant.

Rick Stein
Cornwall's tourist draw, celebrity chef Rick Stein
As foot-and-mouth was spiralling out of control, we decided to get out of farming, although Steve does still go off relief milking to keep a bit of extra money coming in.

Now we run a fish farm and smokery in Cornwall. We smoke a lot of trout, salmon, haddock, cod, as well as cheeses and bacon, and we sell to the public as well as supply to the hotels, pubs and fish shops in the area. We're about three miles from the Rick Stein empire - he's definitely brought a lot of foodies down here.

Good days gone

I was brought up on a farm in Somerset and have been riding and hunting almost since I could walk.

Previous Countryside Alliance march
Previous marches have attracted a huge turn-out
Physically farming was probably harder work in my parents' day, but financially it wasn't so hard - they got better prices for milk for one thing, I never remember any problems like that when I was a child.

Today the smaller farms are getting pushed out - they can't afford to stay in farming so the big estates are coming up, swallowing the small farms. They grub out all the lovely hedgerows and plant great big expanses of field - so the face of the countryside has changed as well.

Unless people start paying attention to what we have to say, it's just one rule after another closing down the countryside, with no support for those who live and work here.

Map of march route

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See also:

29 Aug 02 | Politics
01 Aug 02 | Politics
19 Jul 02 | Politics
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