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Guides: The countryside

Last Updated: Thursday September 27 2007 14:35 GMT



Changes in farming are the really big problem in the countryside.

The money farmers make has fallen by 70% since 1995. Many farmers have sold their land. Over 60% of farming households now do other work to get extra money. These are two of the reasons why.

Falling prices

Farmers get money from the European Union. The EU promises to buy all the food the farmers produce and gives them a minimum price.

The price is in Euros and Britain uses the pound. The Euro is not worth as many pounds as it used to be so the farmers have lost money.


British farm animals have had two serious diseases. First there was BSE (mad cow disease) then foot-and-mouth. These put some shoppers off buying meat and made life difficult for people on farms.

Farmers got money to pay for animals that were slaughtered because of foot-and-mouth in 2001. There was no compensation for money they lost when they couldn't sell milk, wool and lambs.

Guide to The countryside

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