HC Deb 08 February 1974 vol 868 cc421-2W
Sir J. Langford-Holt

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has been the loss of good agricultural land in the last two years; what he expects the current figure to be; and whether this acreage is tending to show an annual increase or decrease.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

It can be misleading to give changes between one single year and another, but the average yearly reduction over the five years ending in June 1972 was 74,800 acres, of which 57,600 acres were crops and grass. Preliminary examination of the 1973 census figures suggest that the loss of land under crops and grass has decreased compared with the average for the previous five years, but losses of rough grazing have increased.