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Chris Galley

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Wednesday 14 April – length and breadth

Here’s is today gratuitous shadow minister shot, Jim Paice, shadow Minister of Agriculture. IMG_4408comp This came at Darlington Station at the end of a long, long day of driving, from Berwick down to the North Riding of Yorkshire, and quite a few points in between. There were 4 farms involved, all very different from each other. The first visit was to North Doddington Farm, north of Wooler, where the Maxwell family have successfully diversified their small dairy into cheese and ice cream production. Anne-Marie was our first host in Berwick – and in Wooler I saw my first Lib Dem poster, the usual luminously tedious “winning here” on a lopsided square.

We then had a 97 mile trip down to Middleton on Tees. Our schedule had an error in it, suggesting it would take an hour to make that journey, when it takes, well, two hours. This meant we were horribly late into the Upper Teasdale’s Agricultural Support Service (UTASS) office in the middle of Middleton. IMG_4363compLuckily Jim Plaice was able to quickly address the concerns of the 20 – 25 farmers that candidate Barbara Harrison had invited along. There a lively discussion on farming, and it was good to hear Jim being so articulate about issues such as cross-compliance and Higher Level Stewardship.

Finally off to Paul Bristow down in Middlesborough South, or rather Guisborough.IMG_4390comp Here he is with a local dairy farmer, plus dog. Jim finished off with a particularly good and punchy interview on BBC Tees (Iplayer link, approx 1:12.32 in) local radio, and still managed to slip onto the train as scheduled.

Gosh, I am tired!