The Ecology of Our Uplands

BY DAVID EYLES In his book Feral [1], George Monbiot outlines his ideas for the environmental transformation of the British uplands – from open sheep grazed pastures to wooded hillsides. He argues that this will considerably enhance biodiversity. Furthermore, that the release of large predators such as Lynx, Wolves and Wild Boar, will amount to a restoration of keystone species that will bring about an enormous ecological improvement … Continue reading The Ecology of Our Uplands

The Invisible Strands of Culture

BY DAVID EYLES Culture is usually defined in terms of a higher understanding of the arts and other intellectual achievements – anything from opera at Glyndebourne to Morris Dancing and the Helston Floral Dance. But in this post, I use the term as meaning the characteristics and social interactions of a particular community. In this case, the community which revolves around hill farmers. There are … Continue reading The Invisible Strands of Culture

Gove Sticking to His Guns

BY JAMIE FOSTER The badger cull could be extended into low risk areas in England where badgers have been connected to outbreaks of TB by the autumn if licences are approved by Natural England. Despite opposition from the Badger Trust and other animal rights groups, Defra under Michael Gove has decided to carry on with the cull as part of the overall strategy to manage … Continue reading Gove Sticking to His Guns

Emerging Farm Labour Crisis

BY BEN EAGLE How confident are you that British workers will embrace the fields and step into the shoes of the growing number of European migrant workers who are choosing to work in countries such as France or Germany instead of the UK? Personally, my confidence levels are low. The early indicators suggest that Britain is facing a labour crisis and there needs to be … Continue reading Emerging Farm Labour Crisis

The End of Direct Payments?

BY BEN EAGLE Anybody involved in British agriculture should have accepted by now that the days for direct payments based on land area are limited in number. Instead we will be embracing a system of ‘public payments for public goods’, whatever that means. Although Michael Gove has in recent weeks offered a trickle of potential policy changes and words of general direction, there has been … Continue reading The End of Direct Payments?