Agricultural financing is not the most glamorous of subjects but for Cumbria it is a vital one.

The county's economy is full of firms which specialise in every form of agribusiness, from selling equipment and feed to managing accounts and selling insurance. Its food and drink is internationally recognised for its quality and even the landscape which tourists flock to see has been largely shaped by agriculture.

Then, of course, there is the plight of the farmers, their families and their staff, all of whom live and spend their money in the county.

The changes that are likely to come to the UK as it leaves the EU and its Common Agricultural Policy will be felt across Cumbria.

Cap has long been a contentious issue in the UK. Many feel that Britain pays the most of any EU nation into it, with most of this money benefiting farmers further afield - originally in France but now in eastern Europe. There are two ways in which money is paid out through the scheme - one recognises the amount of land a farmer uses and the other is tied in to environmental stewardship. While all farmers can qualify for the former, this is not the case with the latter.

It has thrown up some controversial issues. Research published last week showed one in five of the biggest recipients of European farming subsidies in Britain were billionaires and millionaires on The Sunday Times Rich List.

Defra secretary Michael Gove has outlined proposals for a "green Brexit", which would involve farmers being paid for looking after the environment in place of the Cap.

One person who is enthusiastic about the thinking behind this is David Corrie-Close, of the Horned Beef Company in Lindale, near Grange.

He and his wife, Bekka, set up their business after a period of time in environmental and conservation work.

Mr Corrie-Close said: "The starting point for our business and the way in which we farm is that we believe we need farmers to be responsible land managers.

"There are a lot of pressures on farmers to produce food and that is through no fault of their own but there are market pressures and farmers need to feed their families."

He added: "It is important that farmers and the view from farming businesses is very carefully looked at."

His views were echoed by Robert Craig, a former chairman of the NFU in Cumbria who is also involved with the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers.

"I do not think this is anything other than what we were expecting," he said, pointing out that many farmers in Cumbria were already carrying out environmental work.

He was concerned about what the details of any new scheme would involve but though Cumbrian farmers, who are primarily involved in livestock, had less to fear than arable farmers who mainly work on the east coast.

Mr Craig said hill farmers in the Lake District were a great example of environmentally-friendly agriculture.

"Rearing animals in the hills on something only they can eat is pretty sustainable," he said.

He added that a push on sustainable agriculture by the government would also capture the public's imagination.

The Country Land and Business Association, which represents 30,000 landowners, farmers and rural businesses in England and Wales, has also called for a move away from subsidies which simply pay people based on how much land they farm.

It has said the Cap system should be replaced with "land management contracts" - business contracts to manage land in ways that deliver public benefits.

Farmers would receive payments for choosing to deliver services such as storing carbon, managing water quality, connecting up habitats, reducing flood risk or protecting famous beauty spots and important landscapes.

CLA president Ross Murray said: "Payments are necessary because there is vital work to be done across our countryside to manage soils and preserve the productive capacity of the land, to plant the trees we need, to clean and store water, to support the farming practices that make up our iconic landscapes or to make it possible for people to enjoy our beautiful natural spaces.

"These responsibilities bring costs and burdens that other businesses do not have to bear. That is why it is right to continue to invest public money in remunerating farmers to deliver the things people want from our countryside."