Clear callousness

It was sad to read that tenant farming is on the decline by as much as 10 per cent over the past six years (your report, 1 January).

It can be no coincidence that there is also a pattern of long established estates being bought up by the super-rich, for whom estate ownerships provides a licence to play with guns and who see tenants as an impediment to their sporting pleasure.

In a recent case, a local farmer was cheated out of his holding and hounded to a premature death by new money landlords. They made it so difficult for him to continue farming that he had no choice but to accept an offer of employment in return for giving up his tenancy.

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This was on the understanding that he and his family could remain in the farmhouse. He was then “made redundant” and given notice to quit the house.

After his death the landlord refused even to speak with his widow and family.

Even their kitchen table was thrown in a skip before they had time to move it, so keen was the son of the new owners to move into the house.

A 300-year tradition of farming destroyed, not simply by greed, but by a thuggish sort of covetousness.

Tenant farming is a family and community concern.

Yet the values of family and community are subject to a sustained and determined attack by a business creed inspired by the Clearance mentality of the 19th century.

John Campbell

New Kinrara