SIR, I read with interest the 'farming point of view’  as expressed by Hamish and Susie Dykes about an extension of the Pentland regional park. It is an emotive subject for people who earn their living off the land and a complex one. 

I would like to make a few points. 1. The landscape may be maintained by traditional agriculture - but traditional agriculture is long gone.  Stock management and levels have altered beyond belief in the past 50 years.

2. The farming industry protests its business credentials - but it is the only business in the UK which is supported substantially by the tax payer. 

The single farm payment works out at about 15k per sheep farm/year, much more for other farms. I really don’t understand why the tax payer is generally unaware of this or why it is politically unacceptable to discuss it.

3. The fear of loss of farmland to 'impenetrable undergrowth’ if grazing stops is an interesting fear borne more of human myth than rationality. In practice the improvement to the appearance and accessibility of countryside that occurs when intensive and destructive grazing is stopped  can be stunningly beautiful. 

It can seen in the Scottish Borders notably at Carifran Borders Forest Trust woodland near Moffat and other native woodland schemes.

I am, etc.
James Gordon