Farmers in the south west should look to continue with tourism diversification to survive in a post-Brexit world, according to the CLA.

CLA president, Tim Breitmeyer said that the countryside will benefit from the rise of the staycation and the weak pound as the UK heads towards exiting the EU, giving farmers across the region an opportunity to choose tourism as a new income stream.

The organisation considers that Brexit means farmers and landowners must look to diversify their businesses as direct support from the Common Agricultural Policy comes to an end and is replaced by a future system of payments for public goods. It believes that businesses which embrace the change and seek out new opportunities are the ones that will succeed through Brexit and beyond.

Mr Breitmeyer said: “As Britons continue to seek out staycations and experiences in our beautiful countryside and with a fall in the pound, rural tourism businesses are set for a Brexit boost. Tourism is so vital to the countryside. In the south west alone, it provides more than 150,000 jobs, supports the local economy and generates some £7billion to the overall economy.

“Farmers who choose to embrace change and start new business ventures such as rural tourism are the ones who will thrive in a post-Brexit world. However, to ensure all rural businesses are resilient and robust enough to survive Brexit, it is vital for the government to provide support, infrastructure and policy initiatives to assist this transition.

Mr Breitmeyer has called for more flexibility in the planning system so growth is not restricted as well as improved digital connectivity across rural areas, particularly 4G mobile coverage in the countryside, so that that rural businesses have access to the same level of coverage as towns and cities.