First a very happy New Year to all. Let's hope we can move on from Omicron and get on with our lives at last. Having said that, pressure on the NHS continued to dominate coverage with Health Secretary Health, Sajid Javid, saying it was facing a "rocky few weeks ahead” on account of high case numbers and large numbers of staff absences for Covid reasons. Encouragingly, UK experts said a fourth Covid jab was not yet needed because booster doses continued to provide high protection against severe disease from the Omicron variant among older adults. Plenty of constituency matters to cope with, not least the case of Grant Bailey, who has gone missing in Afghanistan. I have spoken to the Foreign Secretary personally and she assured me they were doing all they could to find him. An excellent article, written by farmer Rob Halliday, caught my eye in the Daily Mail. Mr Halliday was commenting on the Government's ill-informed green drive to take productive land out of production in order to create wildlife habitats. Two new Government schemes - the Local Nature Recovery Scheme and the Landscape Recovery Scheme - will see farmers being paid £800 million a year to "make space for nature." This will include rewilding projects, the consequences of which have simply not been thought through. Mr Halliday goes on to argue that these schemes imply that farming and nature cannot co-exist, which is rubbish. You only have to look at our countryside to see how it's nurtured by those who work on the land. And why would that not be the case? As a landowner and farmer myself, why on earth would I want to damage the land that not only produces food, but is home to a vast abundance of wildlife. Our self reliance on food has dropped from 78 per cent to 60 per cent in 30 years, Mr Halliday says. And the more we reduce our production, the more we will have to rely on imports, often cheaper and produced far less sustainably than our food. Hardly good news for our carbon footprint, either! When we left the EU, we were promised less red tape, to be allowed to get on with growing food free of time-consuming and bureaucratic rules and regulations. The opposite, sadly, is the case and, like Mr Halliday, I am very concerned at the future of farming in the UK if the Government continues to jump to every demand made of them by powerful environmental and wildlife lobbies. The Secretary of State, George Eustice, is a farmer himself, and I see little sense coming from his Department or resistance to those who wish to turn the countryside into a play area for a growing urban population. We will only see more food imported, with the inevitable price rises. Finally, flat owners would not have to pay to remove dangerous cladding from lower-height buildings under new plans due to be announced by the Government. And tributes were paid to Labour's Jack Dromey MP, who died at the age of 73.