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Papers back grants scheme

Two Westcountry newspapers have teamed up and launched a campaign to raise money for the beleaguered farmers.

The Stroud News & Journal and its sister paper the Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard are asking readers to send money in for their Farming in Crisis campaign.

The campaign is being headed by Lady Apsley, whose husband is a prominent landowner and farmer in Cirencester.

She said: “Farmers are the backbone of Britain, they are the guardians of the countryside and now we need to protect those guardians.

“They are in their hour of need and we need to do something about it.”

All the money raised will be sent to the Arthur Rank Centre Addington Fund, which will make grants of up to £2,000 available for farmers in the local community.

The money raised from the campaign will hopefully keep farmers going while compensation claims are worked out.

The Addington Fund was initially set up last year in response to the swine crisis, and has now turned its attention to the current crisis.

Fund Administrator Michael Barker said: “The payments are not intended to bail out farmers, but will keep the wolf from the door.”

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