1. Farming Monthly National RSS
    Created by Farming Monthly National RSS
    Dec 7, 2017
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    Written by FM Web Editor

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    Agroforestry – image: Woodland Trust


    Environment Secretary Michael Gove has given a strong indication that the Government’s 25 year plan for the environment, due in the New Year, will tackle the issue of woefully low tree planting.

    Speaking at the Woodland Trust’s parliamentary launch on Wednesday (December 6) of a series of essays outlining its vision for a post Brexit integrated land use policy, the Secretary of State said:

    “There is a responsibility for us to plant for the future. Compare us to the rest of Europe and the amount of woodland cover we have is pathetically small. The rates of tree planting in the UK, and England in particular, have not been good enough.

    “There is a beauty and a poetry to a landscape decorated and indeed rooted with trees. If we have a care for our environment and if we have a view of this country that goes beyond the utilitarian and the practical, and which is viewed in a proper sense of beauty and romance and history and a desire to ensure future generations can enjoy what past generations have cherished, then we need to plant more trees.

    “And with the publication of our 25 Year Plan for the Environment in the New Year, I hope we can say more on how we intend to meet that ambition. But we won’t be able to meet that ambition without the...
  2. Rock and Roll Farming RSS
    Created by Rock and Roll Farming RSS
    Dec 6, 2017
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    035 Hefted to the Howgills

    Written by

    Tonight I'm delighted to be heading up North to Sedburgh in the Howgill Fells to talk to Shepherdess, Farmer, Walker, Guide, Mother, Fashion Designer, and Writer, Alison O'Neill.

    We talk about the beautiful and slightly less travelled part of the country that she lives in, and her long family history there, and her childhood growing up on the farm.

    We then discuss the affect that her Grandparents and Parents decision to sell the farm in the difficult times of the late 1970's had, and Alison's decision to move away and work all around Europe doing a variety of different jobs, before the pull of home brought her back in the late 90s.

    We hear how she secured the tenancy of her farm, and moved in with £60 in her pocket and a backpack, and her first few years there, before talking about the devastating affect that foot & mouth had on the area and her business in 2001.

    We discuss what happened next, and how Alison diversified into guided walks around the Howgills, B&B, and eventually into processing the wool from hers and neighbours' farms into a range of amazing 'Shepherdess' tweeds, clothing, bags, and accessories. Available from shepherdess.co.uk by the way!

    We also talk about the future of the business, an the new range that she'll be launching at the Great Yorkshire Show in 2018. All this and much more.

    After admiring and...
  3. The Guardian RSS
    Created by The Guardian RSS
    Dec 5, 2017
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    Brexit is a chance to save our small farms | Letters

    Written by Letters

    A fifth of English farms have disappeared in the past 10 years. Farm size diversity is key to sustaining rural communities, writes Graeme Willis
    Your article (Clean, green New Zealand is a lie – and a warning for Britain’s countryside, 4 December) highlights the huge opportunity Brexit has presented us to create a new agriculture policy that will restore the natural environment, as well as help the farming industry to become more financially resilient and environmentally sustainable. The removal of “subsidies” following the New Zealand model is not the route to achieving this. Public funding is critical to farmers’ livelihoods – without it, roughly half of farming is uneconomic. Those likely to suffer the most are small- to medium-sized farms already struggling in very tough markets. A fifth of English farms have disappeared in the past 10 years, and the rate is fastest amongst the smallest. Almost a third of farms under 50 hectares vanished between 2005 and 2015. Farm size diversity is key to sustaining rural communities through jobs as well as protecting distinctive local character. It is also crucial to maintaining England’s world-renowned landscapes and diversity of...
  4. AHDB Potatoes RSS
    Created by AHDB Potatoes RSS
    Dec 5, 2017
  5. The Guardian RSS
    Created by The Guardian RSS
    Dec 5, 2017
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    How Neolithic farming sowed the seeds of modern inequality 10,000 years ago

    Written by James Suzman

    The prehistoric shift towards cultivation began our preoccupation with hierarchy and growth – and even changed how we perceive the passage of time

    Most people regard hierarchy in human societies as inevitable, a natural part of who we are. Yet this belief contradicts much of the 200,000-year history of Homo sapiens.

    In fact, our ancestors have for the most part been “fiercely egalitarian”, intolerant of any form of inequality. While hunter-gatherers accepted that people had different skills, abilities and attributes, they aggressively rejected efforts to institutionalise them into any form of hierarchy.

    Related: Why 'Bushman banter' was crucial to hunter-gatherers' evolutionary success

    Farming-based societies created economies of hope and aspiration, in which we focus almost unerringly on the future

    Related: The Inequality Project: the Guardian's in-depth look at our...
  6. News
    Created by News
    Dec 4, 2017
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    Written by Paulette Burns

    A new web-based tool will support policymakers and farmers to improve the environment and increase rural employment.

    People working with land in England and Wales can now use different types of data to work out how to better take account of local priorities and needs when making farming decisions. The Landscape Typology Tool, launched 2 November 2017, contains information about science, people and economics, bringing together more than 100 different national datasets in an innovative web platform. It also classifies landscapes based on physical and environmental and social-economic characteristics such as soil type, water quality and crop yield.

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    This information will help users identify opportunities and risks for food production and the environment. People can use the data to plan how to increase crop yields, biodiversity or rural employment through sustainable intensification, an approach that aims to increase farm production while simultaneously protecting the countryside and enhancing environmental and social benefits. It involves the adoption of new practices, including technical innovations, as well as measures to protect...
  7. AHDB Potatoes RSS
    Created by AHDB Potatoes RSS
    Dec 4, 2017
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    Potato industry award a ‘fitting tribute’ to career and achievements of Mark Pettigrew

    Written by Jimmy.Phillips@ahdb.org.uk

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    A much-loved stalwart of the potato industry was posthumously honoured with an award for his services to the sector last month.

    The late Mark Pettigrew won the British Potato Industry Award at BP2017. It was accepted by close friend Gary Collins on behalf of his family.

    Mark died in September following a short illness.

    Release Date:
    Mon, 12/04/2017

    Continue reading more on the ADHB Potatoes Website...
  8. The Guardian RSS
    Created by The Guardian RSS
    Dec 4, 2017
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    Animal agriculture is choking the Earth and making us sick. We must act now | James Cameron and Suzy Amis Cameron

    Written by James Cameron and Suzy Amis Cameron

    If we want the US’s majestic national parks, clean air and water for future generations we must press leaders to address food’s environmental impact

    Our collective minds are stuck on this idea that talking about food’s environmental impact risks taking something very intimate away from us. In fact it’s just the opposite. Reconsidering how we eat offers us hope, and empowers us with choice over what our future planet will look like. And we can ask our local leaders – from city mayors to school district boards to hospital management – to help, by widening our food options.

    We simply need less meat and dairy and more plant-based options in our food system if we’re to reach our climate goals

    Related: Goodbye – and good riddance – to livestock farming | George Monbiot

    Continue reading...

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    … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues...
  9. The Guardian RSS
    Created by The Guardian RSS
    Dec 3, 2017
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    Lord Barber of Tewkesbury obituary

    Written by Adrian Phillips

    Chairman of the Countryside Commission who tried to bridge the gap between modern farming and conservation

    Derek Barber, Lord Barber of Tewkesbury, who has died aged 99, spent much of his long career in public life trying to bridge the gap between modern farming and the conservation of wildlife and landscape. He was chairman of the Countryside Commission from 1981 to 1991 and few people can claim to have left such an imprint on British rural life.

    His leadership was marked by numerous initiatives – Groundwork (now a national movement to encourage communities to improve their local environments), the National Forest (a new forested area in the Midlands), the reinvigoration of rights of way and the independent national parks – that have become established parts of the environmental scene in England and Wales.

    Continue reading...

    Since you’re here …

    … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help....
  10. Rock and Roll Farming RSS
    Created by Rock and Roll Farming RSS
    Dec 1, 2017
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    034 Farming & Fire Fighting in 1940

    Written by

    In the very first Rock & Roll Farming short, I talk to my 95 year old Grandad about his memories of being an 18 year old farmer and Firefighter in the Summer of 1940, when the Luftwaffe were dropping bombs in this area.

    Check it out folks..

    Continue reading more on Rock and Roll Farming...