The Countryside Alliance Awards were mentioned in a House of Lords debate on Thursday (2 November) on the opportunities and challenges for agriculture, fisheries, and the rural economy.
Baroness Mallalieu, President of the Countryside Alliance, stated: “The Countryside Alliance’s rural retail awards show every year what is happening up and down the country, with small businesses, specialist foods, new land-based businesses and some truly inspirational environmental projects, often with education as a part of them”.
The debate, secured by The Earl of Lindsay, was a general debate on the issues affecting the countryside from the lack of mobile and broadband connectivity, the challenges facing the agricultural sector, and the need for investment in rural infrastructure and transport. It was also an opportunity to highlight the importance of hunting, shooting, and fishing to the countryside and the Government Minister, Lord Gardiner of Kimble, described them as “key features of the rural economy”. The Countryside Alliance sent out a briefing note ahead of the debate, based on our Brexit policy document, which was used by many Peers.
The debate was also a chance to pay tribute to the work and achievements of Lord Plumb, a former President of the National Farmers Union and great champion of the countryside, who retires from the House of Lords this month at the age of 92. Baroness Mallalieu said, “Lord Plumb has been my first port of call when I need facts, guidance or a steer on agriculture. He is never too busy. He is always full of humour, wisdom, patience and generosity. I will miss him and so will this House”.