The visit came following a virtual meeting Anne-Marie Trevelyan held for local farmers in February with Farming Minister, and fellow farmer, Victoria Prentis.
When concerns were raised by tenant farmers, the minister told them of the new working group aimed at ensuring tenant farmers are involved in and engaged with Defra’s new land management plans to ensure they fit within existing tenancy structures.
The group is led by Baroness Kate Rock, who got in touch with Ms Trevelyn keen to meet Northumberland tenant farmers in person.
As well as tenant farmers, invited by the National Farmers’ Union, also in attendance were county councillors Guy Renner-Thompson (Bamburgh) and Mark Mather (Wooler) – Guy from a farming family and Mark a farmer himself.
Ms Trevelyan said: “I was really pleased to be able to host Baroness Rock in Northumberland.
“It is vital that Defra hears directly from tenant farmers and this working group is key to ensuring new agricultural support schemes understand the needs of our farmers and work with existing tenancies.
“I know those who attended found it really useful and view it as the beginning of an ongoing dialogue.”
As England moves beyond the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, previous support schemes will be replaced with new schemes.
The Tenancy Working Group is presently seeking views from tenant farmers via an online survey, the details of which can be found at https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/2022/04/13/tenant-farmers-share-your-views