HAVING recently attended a local parish council meeting, I have come to one conclusion - some people who retire to the countryside do not do so to embrace rural life and fit in to what is to some of us a place of work, but to try to change the countryside into some form of suburbia, with neatly swept roads, no nasty smells and a place where everything is neat and lovely.

In an ideal world we all strive for traceability for our food, fewer pesticides and artificial fertiliser to be used and to have more organic produce.

However, in order to try to come closer to this ideal, compromises have to be made and rural life understood, and if not welcomed at least tolerated.

During the farming year there will be times when organic matter has to spread and crops have to be tended and harvested.

This is seasonal work and very weather dependant and I am in no doubt this can prove disruptive and a nuisance to some people, but it must be remembered that the countryside is also a place of work.

I also live in a village, and have to smell the unsavoury aroma and use the roads but these are not everyday events.

As custodians of our countryside we have a duty to keep British agriculture alive and well and should be allowed to carry out our day to day business without constant backbiting and finger pointing.

Farming is becoming more and more difficult with all the rules and regulations, but what are the alternatives?

Maybe sell the land off to the developers and fill our villages with starter homes and affordable housing or maybe organise other countryside pursuits such as clay pigeon shoots, quad bike events etc.

Or maybe a camping/caravan park?

Keep pushing us too far by constant complaining and these could be your alternatives.

J Spencer, Sutton Mandeville