Rural areas need support, says Archbishop

Rural areas are struggling as a result of the tough economic climate and environmental challenges, the Archbishop of York has said.

Dr John Sentamu was in Ryedale yesterday, where he met local council representatives and members of the public.

"Our rural areas are facing many challenges at the moment, with financial cuts, flooding, a changing global market and government legislation which often do not have the intended consequences on the rural economy," he said.

"As a society, we need to support our rural areas more, and pay our farmers fair prices for the food they produce."

Dr Sentamu was joined on his visit by the Bishop of Selby, the Right Reverend Martin Wallace.

In the afternoon, they visited the agricultural cooperative BATA in Amotherby, where they heard more about how the company supplies farmers and the rural community with goods and services.

BATA's chief executive, Steven Clarke, said the Archbishop's concern for farming and rural communities is "recognised and appreciated".