Landowners and rural business leaders launched their plea for ‘security, consistency and consensus’ at England’s biggest agricultural event the Great Yorkshire Show.

They admitted they are nervous at the election of the first Labour government for 14 years and urged politicians to work with them by telling them what the budget will be and sticking with it.

New Environment Minister Steve Reed was due to attend the first day of the Show but was being sworn into his new job. In the past fourteen years since the last Labour government there have been ten different Conservative Ministers for the Environment.

President of the CLA, the country land and business association, Victoria Vyvyan told members at the Show they need the new government to hit the ground running.

She added: “This is a moment of great nervousness, the last time a Conservative handed over to Labour, the first Harry Potter book had just been published. It is not surprising, we run multi generational businesses that take planning and consistency and anything that potentially will rock that boat will make us nervous. 

“We will lobby for agricultural property relief, business relief and improvement to the Environmental Land Management scheme. The Government needs to stick a marker in the sand and say what the budget for agriculture will be for the duration of the Parliament. We need consistency.”

She said in the past the department had resisted raids on the £2.4b budget.

The new Government is being challenged as concern mounts over the polluted and degraded state of rivers, lakes and coastal waters. Agriculture is undergoing the massive changeover from the old agricultural subsidies to the Environmental Land Management Scheme.

Harriet Ranson, CLA Director for the North said: “From the government we need joined up, grown up conversations. If we don’t have food production, we don’t have health and we don’t have a countryside economy. 

“We need to turn around what seems to have been flash in the pan policies, which have been developed due to short term budget government cycles. We need a long term budget which is ring fenced.

“The industry is facing rising prices and market issues on a global scale which have not been seen since the second World War. My hope is for stability, consistency and consensus.” 

Planning issues are a major concern and there were calls for radical new approaches particularly on the development and refurbishment of existing agricultural buildings. 

Sally Ormiston, Head of Consulting at Rural Solutions said: “I am in the camp of cautious optimism we want a grown up conversation on the demands on the countryside we have to make some choices and decisions.

We need good development. In North Yorkshire there is a missing generation of people aged between 20 to 40 because there aren’t houses that people can live in and opportunities for people to work. There is a lot that can be done, rural areas have been under invested in and it needs to change. 85 peer cent of rural businesses felt planning constraints were putting at risk their ability to grow and develop, planning has been hugely risky and costs an awful lot of money and it puts a lot of people off. 

“Providing more certainty is hugely important with greater freedoms to convert agricultural buildings and we hope to see that extended to national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

President Victoria Vyvyan said there is also a need to look at lifelong private rentals.