BARNSLEY Central MP Dan Jarvis met with local farmers to hear about their concerns this week.

He met with representatives from the Peakland Environmental Farmers (PEF) at a farm in Barnsley – listening to a range of issues that disproportionately affect upland farmers.

The PEF also raised the ongoing problems of food security, inflationary pressures, and the need for fairer pricing in the food supply chain, as well as crime.

High-value machinery such as quads, tractors, horse boxes and agricultural machinery have all been stolen from local farms, while reports of poaching, fly-tipping and fuel theft have also been recorded by South Yorkshire Police.

Dan told the Chronicle: “Upland farmers do much to feed our nation and steward our beautiful countryside, but they need the government to back them so they can continue their vital work.

“It was concerning to hear about the pressures they’re dealing just to make ends meet.

“Many feel that the government isn’t listening to them.

“The DEFRA secretary needs to cultivate a better relationship with our upland farmers so together we can all look forward to a sustainable, productive and fairer future for our farms.”

Paul Jameson, an officer in the rural and wildlife crime team, said more events will be planned to provide reassurance and update farmers and rural communities what is being done and achieved.

“These events are absolutely vital in allowing us to collaborate with farmers and landowners, who can often feel isolated in some of the more rural areas.

“Barnsley was the first event and the message was loud and clear that residents’ livelihoods are blighted by crime and antisocial behaviour on their land.

“Moving forward, we’re hopeful that improved communication amongst these communities will help in tackling rural crime and I was so pleased to see such a fantastic turnout at our first event and hope to speak with many more residents across the county at our upcoming meetings.”