Farmers and growers provide us with almost three quarters of the foods that can be easily produced here in our temperate climate, ranging from fresh produce such as apples, pears and salads, to milk, meat, eggs and cereal
Farming shapes the countryside – around seventh tenths of land in the South East is farmed
Two thirds of the region’s agricultural land is covered by green farming schemes
Around 10% of the UK’s farms are found in the South East and agriculture employs more than 50,000 in the region
The local food and drink sector in South East England is worth £550m per year
Farming is the backbone of a thriving rural tourism sector – it’s worth £1bn per year and provides up to 40,000 jobs
Visitors to the region can roam within 23,000 hectares of open countryside
One third of the region’s countryside is protected for its landscape quality
Farming is at the heart of rural life – farming families play a vital role in parish life and traditions.
Farms and horticultural units offer a wealth of educational opportunities – www.yoffse.co.uk
Horticulture accounts for about a fifth of farming output – it is majorly important to counties such as Kent and West Sussex. For example, the combined turnovers of companies involved in horticulture in West Sussex are in the region of £300 million.
Agricultural land use is beneficial to us all. Every 100 hectares of crops can soak up between 30 and 60 tonnes of carbon per year
Woodlands, which cover 14% of land in the region, could be managed more positively to provide fuel, with benefits for wildlife and people