Meeting Farmers

FWlaunch4_1_BNo two farms are alike.  It is true though that in Penrith and the Border there are some initial similarities. Walking along the River Eden last year, I saw friends with farms near Appleby, Kirkoswald, and Croglin. Each family lived in a red sandstone Cumbrian farmhouse, and served their visitor large plates of fresh scones and sandwiches. Each man was from a long farming tradition, had a quick brain, detailed technical knowledge of his land and a clear sense of cost. But every business was different, experimenting with varied breeds, feeds, and machinery. In such a diverse industry, with such a wide range of pressures, how can a MP or a Minister help? My own experience has led me to feel that we have to start much closer to home. A good decision on how many sheep to keep on a fell draws on an individual farmer’s understanding of his own hillside. Bad decisions on farming and the environment tend to be made two hundred miles away on the basis of a mathematical model.

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penrith’s merrythought vetinary lab saved from closure

Rory has expressed his delight at the successful campaign to save Merrythought Animal Health veterinary laboratory. Rory has been fighting to save the site, since the announcement last month, that many national veterinary laboratories were due to be closed. Rory immediately wrote to Defra Ministers in support of the site and strongly lobbied Secretary of […]

british egg industry council

Rory joined more than fifty MPs and peers at an event in Parliament  hosted by the British Egg Industry Council, which convened the meeting to brief representatives of both Houses on the implementation of the forthcoming Welfare of Laying Hens Directive. Rory has already pledged his support to his constituency’s egg farmers, who have in the past weeks expressed their […]

young farmers cumbria advisory committee

Rory  held an inaugural meeting of the Young Farmers Cumbria advisory committee. In the first meeting of its kind held in Penrith and the Border, Rory  met with a group of eleven young farmers from his constituency to discuss a wide range of issues affecting them today. The meeting, at Penrith Conservative Club, brought together […]


   YOUNG FARMERS’ ADVISORY COMMITTEE   Rory has announced that he is to set up an advisory committee of young farmers from across the constituency. Rory has, during his campaign and since election as a member of parliament, been a staunch supporter of Cumbrian Young Farmers and has been working closely with Jan Davinson, secretary of […]

the young farmers of cumbria

I first met the Cumbrian Young Farmers on a charity bike ride, last Spring. Steve Pattinson of Kinkry Hill and I were moving between pubs on a hot afternoon and I was puffing up the hill on a tiny bike without gears. We came round the corner to the Black Lion at Hethersgill and found […]


supporting farming in longtown

LONGTOWN & BEWCASTLE The countdown to May 6th and this intriguing 2010 General Election is in its last phase and Rory has stepped up the tempo of his campaign accordingly.  Yesterday saw the team cover around 20 villages of the northern sector of Penrith & the Border, Rory meeting and greeting voters as he went. The focal point of […]


Article first published in The Financial Times on 15 January 2010. For me the new decade began walking through powder snow under a full moon north of Hadrian’s Wall. Every field and footbridge in Cumbria lay under new powder and the moon, cast up by the ice crust, illuminated hills 20 miles away. Four hours […]