LEAVING the EU without a deal would be a disaster for farmers in Ryedale.

Currently, a substantial amount of Ryedale meat is sold tariff-free to the EU – but a no-deal Brexit would put export tariffs of 46 per cent on lamb, 65 per cent on beef and around 1,000 euros per tonne for pork. Our lamb would be hit most, as 90 per cent of it goes to Europe.

Vaccines and veterinary medicines would suddenly be in short supply as 90 per cent are from the EU and cannot be stockpiled.

Also affected would be fertilisers, plant protection products, machinery parts and animal feed.

If we left with no deal, these problems would kick in immediately from the first day.

The massive reductions in import tariffs for pork and poultry would be a double-whammy, making our small farmers unable to compete with meat from the US, produced on an industrial scale and to lower welfare standards.

A no-deal Brexit would seriously threaten the large number of jobs that service farming in our area,

in the process killing off the reputation of “Yorkshire’s food capital”.

So, while some politicians who live in London may think a “clean break” is wonderful ideology, the reality here on the ground would be very different.

Dr Peter Williams, Malton

Register concerns

ON a still sunny spring or summer’s day, the natural sounds of the countryside bathe one’s ears.

There is a low level background hum of insects; the periodic chatter of small birds with occasional intrusions by the more recognisable cries of a startled pheasant, a wary blackbird, a cuckoo, a curlew or the rare call of a buzzard.

On the next level are those sounds which are farming related, the occasional bleat of a lamb, the anxious call of a ewe, the moo of a cow or the distant throb of a tractor working the land.

In this modern world there is the momentary intrusion of a far-off jet on its way to Amsterdam or the startling screech of a low-flying jet

or two on exercise, gone before you see them, leaving one on edge by a sudden bombardment of noise, but these modern human intrusions are rare, short and purposeful.

These background sounds are as much a part of enjoying our national parks and countryside as the visual impression or scents we enjoy.

We legislate to restrict the imposition of the ugly, offensive or malodorous.

I am asking that noise should similarly be restricted from intruding into our rural experience.

To make a noise is not illegal unless it becomes a nuisance. I suggest that small planes performing aerobatics can become a nuisance and should be restricted but not necessarily banned.

Our MP is looking into this, talking to ministers.

Could I ask anyone with similar concerns to register that concern via an email to richardcolman02@gmail.com?

Richard Colman, Bransdale

Sign the petition

I WOULD like to make your readers aware of the Invasive Alien Species Order 2019.

At the end of October, the Government intends to make it illegal for vets and rescue organisations to rehabilitate and release grey squirrels.

If this draconian act should become law, these unfortunate animals will either be turned away or euthanised. To deny these animals help when they need it is downright cruel. Grey squirrels are already persecuted by so-called conservationists.

There is a lot of hypocrisy, prejudice and flawed science surrounding the grey squirrel. They were introduced to the UK in the mid-19th century, not long before reds were killed in their thousands by red squirrel killing clubs.

The reds we have now are reintroduced from Scandinavia and the biggest killers of both reds (and greys) are road traffic accidents and loss of habitat, both of which are the fault of humans and not the unfortunate grey, and it is these issues which are the ones which need to be urgently addressed.

Reds prefer coniferous woods, greys prefer deciduous, and both habitats are being wiped out due to our indiscriminate building.

As for squirrel pox - yes, red squirrels are susceptible to it, but there is evidence that they are building up immunity.

There is a petition which aims to make grey squirrel rescue exempt from the order, and I urge your readers who are concerned about the future treatment of these animals to sign it.

Tracy Battensby, Easingwold