HC Deb 06 December 1963 vol 685 cc223-4W
Sir H. Legge-Bourke

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware of the need for facilities for further investigations to solve the husbandry problems of the Black Fen area; and what action he proposes to take.

Mr. Soames

Yes. I have for some time been conscious of the special husbandry problems of this area and the need for extending experimental work there. The Agricultural Advisory Council tells me it favours the establishment of an experimental husbandry farm for this purpose. Recently Alderman A. S. Rickwood, C.B.E., J.P., a prominent fenland farmer, has made an extremely generous offer to my Department of a gift of a farm of about 150 acres—Paradise Farm, near Mepal. He has also undertaken to approach local farmers with a view to securing contributions towards its development, on the understanding that a contribution will also be provided out of the funds available to the Ministry for its experimental husbandry farms. I have been very pleased to accept this generous gift and I hope that contributions from fenland farmers towards the development of the farm, together with funds from the Ministry, will be such as to enable an early start to be made on its use for experimental purposes.

The farm will be named "The Arthur Rickwood Experimental Husbandry Farm." Alderman Rickwood has agreed to be the Chairman of the local Advisory Committee.

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