We Need Stability at DEFRA

BY BEN EAGLE It was with a sigh of relief that I learned that Michael Gove was not moving to the Department for Exiting the European Union last week. Quite understandably most people were probably focused on the destination rather than the starting line. However, my eyes, as usual, were pointing towards Defra. The last thing that food, farming and the environment needs at this … Continue reading We Need Stability at DEFRA

A Message From the Countryside

BY ANNE RUTH For the first time in a long time, this Conservative Party Conference shall be attended by many furious exurbanites and rural folk. What the Conservative Party must start doing is begin engaging with these people – the people – who have been forgotten about. These are the millions of people across the UK who don’t stand out because of what they wear, … Continue reading A Message From the Countryside

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