Butterflies instead of sheep on Tinto Hill?

Tinto - could new minister favour butterlies instead of sheep on the hill and on farms throughout Clydesdale?
Tinto - could new minister favour butterlies instead of sheep on the hill and on farms throughout Clydesdale?

The appointment of a new UK agriculture minister has been greeted with a mixture of ridicule and disbelief by some of the Clydesdale farming community and the area’s MSP.

The new secretary of state at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is Andrea Leadsom, best known to most of the public for her abortive challenge to Theresa May for the Conservative Party’s leadership and the keys to 10 Downing Street.

However, long before that, Ms Leadsom was a hugely controversial figure among hill sheep farmers for suggesting that smaller farms were no longer viable and would be better turned over to the breeding of butterflies.

She is also seen as a sceptic on EU farming subsidies.

Her appointment to an important role in the industry was attacked by Clydesdale’s SNP MSP, Aileen Campbell, and farming leaders.

She said: “The appointment of Andrea Leadsom to Defra has clearly not reassured many working in our rural communities that the UK Tory Government has their best interests at heart and will be particularly worrisome as we head into negotiations for Brexit.

“The Scottish Government has been working hard to help farmers across Scotland.

“Our farmers have shown great resilience, and we will continue to do to support them in that excellent work.