Examination of Witness

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 13th February 2020.

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Photo of Deidre Brock Deidre Brock Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) 2:30 pm, 13th February 2020

Q You were speaking just then about the conflict between natural heritage and cultural heritage, and you will know that the highlands in Scotland still have a wonderful cultural heritage, despite what was at times a quite systematic depopulation of the area. I wondered what sort of future you envisage for the people who live there now if they turn from being farmers on the uplands, which, as you know, are basically largely suitable for rough grazing—that is one of the reasons why sheep, and to a lesser extent cattle, are grazed there. If they do that, what do they then become? Just on a practical, day-to-day level, what do they then become—just land managers, because they get subsidies for food production, which only supplements part of their income? What do those people do, and how do we keep them there so that we still have communities in the highlands?