BRITAIN'S ancient hill farming industry is "falling apart" because of constantly changing red-tape and the fact that farmers' children are no longer following in their parents' footsteps, says a leading member of the Country Landowners and Business Association (CLA).
This is the view of hill farmer Pauline Blair, who has just been elected chairman of the Cumbria branch of the CLA but whose views are echoed in areas of the Pennines stretching from Derbyshire to the Scottish border and the whole of the Yorkshire Dales.
The Lake District is a potential "world heritage site" and she said in an impassioned speech on being appointed: "Farming is the lifeblood of the landscape and holds together the infrastructure of our rural communities but it is changing, and not for the better.
"It is an irony that the possibility of World Heritage status is based on the culture and landscape created by man's activity as this very system is collapsing around us. Farming falls outside the modern career structure and our children are voting with their feet."