It's Emmerdale Downunder
5:00AM Tuesday September 04, 2007
By Jarrod Booker

New Zealand is proving an attractive choice for many British farmers fed up with over-regulation and looking for a superior lifestyle. Photo / Amos Chapple

British farmers are flocking to New Zealand's countryside to enjoy better conditions and less red tape in their working lives.

One real estate firm, Bayleys, has sold more than $200 million in farmland to British and Irish farmers since 2002, and the interest is so high that the firm has now set up an office in London to promote New Zealand farming.

While Federated Farmers says there is nothing to fear from the British influx, New Zealand First is concerned it will further inflate farm prices and lock young Kiwi farmers out of the market. "New Zealand farmers have been the backbone of this country virtually since it came into existence," said NZ First deputy leader Peter Brown.

"A little bit of fresh blood here and there is all right, but when we open the doors widespread, it is a huge concern."

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