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Airfields (Land Cultivation)

Volume 390: debated on Wednesday 30 June 1943

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asked the Secretary of State for Air what steps have been taken by his Department to secure the fullest use for growing food of the land on aerodromes not required for operational purposes; whether any record is kept of the land on each aerodrome which is available for that purpose and of the percentage of that land which has been turned to use?

All large tracts of land on airfields which can be cultivated without interfering with operations are farmed under arrangements made by the county war agricultural executive committees, who also undertake grass cutting from suitable areas for hay or silage. Similar arrangements have been made in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Royal Air Force personnel are given every encouragement to cultivate smaller areas in their spare time. Detailed instructions have been issued and horticultural advisers attached to the Air Ministry are available for advice and guidance. I am generally satisfied that everything possible is being done to secure the maximum yield from all suitable land under the control of my Department. Some 7,200 acres are being cultivated by Royal Air Force personnel, but I regret that details of the areas for which county committees are responsible are not readily available.