Labour is committed to eradicating bovine TB without culling badgers and to consult with farmers on controversial right to roam proposals, but courting rural voters is about more than farmers and landowners.
That was the message from Shadow Defra Minister and Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner spoke to Farmers Guardian on two of the most divisive topics for the party in rural constituencies.
With Labour well ahead in the polls, Mr Zeichner was keen to reassure farmers of his partys commitment to eradicating bTB and said he never underestimates the stress, misery and cost this disease brings to a farm and their family.
When asked on his partys position on badger culling he said there are other measures much more likely to help with eradicating bTB.
We do not think badger culling is the answer. So our position is unchanged on that, Mr Zeichner said.
He highlighted the Godfrey review and said they were unlikely to change the current commitment to end the cull.
Right to roam
Another bone of contention amongst many farmers is the introduction of right to roam, who believe the countryside is not a park but a working environment.
Mr Zeichner encouraged farmers to be open for sensible discussion on the matter. He recognised the policy would have the maximum impact on those who live and work in the countryside.
Access to green space
Labour has always tried to make it possible for people who do not have access to nature and environment to have better access, but what we got to do is to do it in a way that does not cause problems for people who live and work there.
We need good dialogue and I am sure we can resolve it, he said.
When asked if labour would definitely introduce the policy he failed to give a definitive answer.
Millions of citizens do not have access to green space or nature at all. It is good for people in the countryside if people from towns and cities to get out in the countryside. I think it is good for everyone.
Local elections take place next week, Mr Zeichner pointed out that for rural elections the electorate is not just land owners and farmers.
If you look at the rural seat you will find far more people in heath service and so on and small business.
However, he was not expecting big gains in the upcoming local elections but was confident labour could win in surprising places in the next general election.
Check out our #OverTheFarmGate podcast interview with Shadow Defra Minister and Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner and Chief Reporter Rachael Brown, out Friday.