Farming & Conservation

Kevtherev

Member
Location
Welshpool Powys
With all the talk on the re wilding thread about releasing large predators (which I do not agree with) we need to educate the masses how farming and wildlife can coexist in perfect balance.
Just look at the masses of work a lot of farmers and landowners are doing sometimes at no economic benefit to themselves.
I also think there would be a rapid decline in farmland birds if rewilding of some key habitats happened.
Thoughts
 

delilah

Member
But how ? I tried to pooh pooh some of the nonsense on Chris Packham's FB page a while back, pointing out farmers good deeds. Even posted a pic of a barn owl. Not one like. Not one comment. He ( and many others ) seem to have the power to brainwash folks.
It's like trying to educate pork.
Kwis and the moonbat are the lunatic fringe, no point wasting your time with them and their acolytes.

Try the mainstream environment movement. They are the people to engage with; normal people living normal lives, who just need reassuring that farmers are doing their bit.

https://www.facebook.com/friendsoftheearth/
 

Goweresque

Member
Location
North Wilts
Kwis and the moonbat are the lunatic fringe, no point wasting your time with them and their acolytes.

Try the mainstream environment movement. They are the people to engage with; normal people living normal lives, who just need reassuring that farmers are doing their bit.

https://www.facebook.com/friendsoftheearth/
Unfortunately its the extremists who win, because they have the drive and motivation to make stuff happen. The moderates, while far greater in number are more 'meh' about things so who do you think politicians take notice of?

The history of the Troubles in NI gives us a very instructive lesson in what happens - one would have thought that once the Good Friday Agreement was signed the political parties that had been anti-violence on both sides of the divide would be the ones to benefit. Yet it was the exact opposite - the extremists were the ones who won at the ballot box. Parties like the SDLP which were nationalist but peaceful have lost out to Sinn Fein, who obviously hadn't been peaceful at all.

The same will go for environmentalism, or indeed any other area of competing views on how society should be ordered. The ones who scream 'Meat is killing the planet!' and protest with Extinction Rebellion will be the ones listened to, the moderates who stay at home and do their recycling and bike to work won't be. Politicians listen to the squeaky wheel, not the silent majority.
 

delilah

Member
The ones who scream 'Meat is killing the planet!' and protest with Extinction Rebellion will be the ones listened to
I disagree. I pointed out on here in the very early days of ER that they aren't the environment movement and they wont be around for long. They're pretty much history already.
 

mjdboor

Member
Rewilding may mean rewinding the methods used, ie guard dogs and round the clock shepherding for livestock....it's impossible to reintroduce predators and expect current practise to still work.
 

Formatted

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Sussex
The thing is that modern farm has damaged the environment, you just need to look at our skies on a summers day and the number of swifts and swallows it half what it was 10 years ago, and that is largely down to reduced insect populations. Our rivers are filled with pesticides and nitrates from poor spray, fertilizer and manure application management. The government has to legislate so farmers cannot cut hedges during nesting season otherwise they would! etc

We do need to do more, there are many farmers who do good, you might be one of them but farmers who burn plastic at weekends, prop up fences with wooden pallets and tie gates up with barded wire need a serious talking to and your message will be better received by the public if you come forward with a bit of supplication. I am not a fan of the NFU, but they are embracing the Net Zero message which the public are into right now whilst at the same time defending farmers.
 

Goweresque

Member
Location
North Wilts
We do need to do more, there are many farmers who do good, you might be one of them but farmers who burn plastic at weekends, prop up fences with wooden pallets and tie gates up with barded wire need a serious talking to and your message will be better received by the public if you come forward with a bit of supplication. I am not a fan of the NFU, but they are embracing the Net Zero message which the public are into right now whilst at the same time defending farmers.
This'll be the same public who are currently covering the entire country in a sea of litter I suppose? The same ones who'll buy any old food regardless of where and how it was produced as long as its cheap? The same public who would rather throw out perfectly usable items because they want a new one in in a different colour? And pay some pikey to get rid of the old stuff by tipping it in the nearest gateway rather than bother to take it to the tip themselves?

The public aren't 'embracing Net Zero' any more than the masses 'embraced conscription' in WW1. The political class have decided Net Zero is the thing they want, and everyone else will get it regardless.
 

Bury the Trash

Member
Mixed Farmer
The thing is that modern farm has damaged the environment, you just need to look at our skies on a summers day and the number of swifts and swallows it half what it was 10 years ago, and that is largely down to reduced insect populations. Our rivers are filled with pesticides and nitrates from poor spray, fertilizer and manure application management. The government has to legislate so farmers cannot cut hedges during nesting season otherwise they would! etc

We do need to do more, there are many farmers who do good, you might be one of them but farmers who burn plastic at weekends, prop up fences with wooden pallets and tie gates up with barded wire need a serious talking to and your message will be better received by the public if you come forward with a bit of supplication. I am not a fan of the NFU, but they are embracing the Net Zero message which the public are into right now whilst at the same time defending farmers.
bull sh!t
 

Muddyroads

Member
Location
Devon
The thing is that modern farm has damaged the environment, you just need to look at our skies on a summers day and the number of swifts and swallows it half what it was 10 years ago, and that is largely down to reduced insect populations. Our rivers are filled with pesticides and nitrates from poor spray, fertilizer and manure application management. The government has to legislate so farmers cannot cut hedges during nesting season otherwise they would! etc

We do need to do more, there are many farmers who do good, you might be one of them but farmers who burn plastic at weekends, prop up fences with wooden pallets and tie gates up with barded wire need a serious talking to and your message will be better received by the public if you come forward with a bit of supplication. I am not a fan of the NFU, but they are embracing the Net Zero message which the public are into right now whilst at the same time defending farmers.
If only we had a dislike button! Our rivers are filled with pesticides and nitrates are they? Prove it!
 

Muddyroads

Member
Location
Devon
Kwis and the moonbat are the lunatic fringe, no point wasting your time with them and their acolytes.

Try the mainstream environment movement. They are the people to engage with; normal people living normal lives, who just need reassuring that farmers are doing their bit.

https://www.facebook.com/friendsoftheearth/
I disagree. The like of Kwis set the mindset for many. A very poorly written piece on the BBC news website this week perpetuated many of the falsehoods such as beef is bad for the planet, soya is grown to feed cattle, trees are the answer to global warming as if they’re proven facts. The likes of ER might be of help to us, but don’t underestimate the influence of influencers!
 

delilah

Member
I disagree. The like of Kwis set the mindset for many. A very poorly written piece on the BBC news website this week perpetuated many of the falsehoods such as beef is bad for the planet, soya is grown to feed cattle, trees are the answer to global warming as if they’re proven facts.
Is that Kwis' fault, or ours ?
 
The thing is that modern farm has damaged the environment, you just need to look at our skies on a summers day and the number of swifts and swallows it half what it was 10 years ago, and that is largely down to reduced insect populations. Our rivers are filled with pesticides and nitrates from poor spray, fertilizer and manure application management. The government has to legislate so farmers cannot cut hedges during nesting season otherwise they would! etc

We do need to do more, there are many farmers who do good, you might be one of them but farmers who burn plastic at weekends, prop up fences with wooden pallets and tie gates up with barded wire need a serious talking to and your message will be better received by the public if you come forward with a bit of supplication. I am not a fan of the NFU, but they are embracing the Net Zero message which the public are into right now whilst at the same time defending farmers.
I wouldn't entirely agree with your statement about the rivers, but much of what you say has some truth. It is also not all our fault in this country about the decline in Swallows and Swifts. Climate change and lack of food on their migratory routes have had an impact in recent years as has the ever increasing population in the world, especially Africa.

All of this talk of rewilding and reintroduction of apex predators will do little to help the smaller creatures which are an essential part of the whole food chain.

How many farmers these days actually control predators on their land?
We trap Mink and have Moorhens, Water Voles and many more Ducklings.
We trap Magpies and Crows and have many more small songbirds, the numbers and species have significantly increased along with winter feeding.
We shoot and trap Foxes most of which have been released into the countryside by ignorant people who think they will have a better life outside the City. The organisations that do this should be heavily fined as these animals should be put down and not relocated. We would have many more ground nesting birds if the Badger population was reduced to a sensible level as well.

We tolerate Stoats and Weasels at a low level to keep down rabbits.

We now have Buzzards, Kites (Red and Black), Marsh Harriers, Merlins, Hobbies, lots of Kestrels etc.

A few neighbours that have shoots do also control predators, but the majority don't.
The best and most conscientious is on our local nature reserve, but this has to be done very quietly and subtly in order not to upset the people who pay to support it and like all the wonderful wildlife but fail to understand the reality of what encourages this to thrive. They spend tens of thousands of pounds every year on fencing to keep out Badgers and Foxes from eating the ground nesting birds, but nearly always fail.

I was concerned that there was a statement recently that claimed there had been no benefit to other wildlife in the Badger culling areas. This is not what I heard from some farmers in the areas, but would like to know if this has been proved or is actually propaganda from May and Packham etc?
 

HolzKopf

Member
Location
Kent&Snuffit
I wouldn't entirely agree with your statement about the rivers, but much of what you say has some truth. It is also not all our fault in this country about the decline in Swallows and Swifts. Climate change and lack of food on their migratory routes have had an impact in recent years as has the ever increasing population in the world, especially Africa.

All of this talk of rewilding and reintroduction of apex predators will do little to help the smaller creatures which are an essential part of the whole food chain.

How many farmers these days actually control predators on their land?
We trap Mink and have Moorhens, Water Voles and many more Ducklings.
We trap Magpies and Crows and have many more small songbirds, the numbers and species have significantly increased along with winter feeding.
We shoot and trap Foxes most of which have been released into the countryside by ignorant people who think they will have a better life outside the City. The organisations that do this should be heavily fined as these animals should be put down and not relocated. We would have many more ground nesting birds if the Badger population was reduced to a sensible level as well.

We tolerate Stoats and Weasels at a low level to keep down rabbits.

We now have Buzzards, Kites (Red and Black), Marsh Harriers, Merlins, Hobbies, lots of Kestrels etc.

A few neighbours that have shoots do also control predators, but the majority don't.
The best and most conscientious is on our local nature reserve, but this has to be done very quietly and subtly in order not to upset the people who pay to support it and like all the wonderful wildlife but fail to understand the reality of what encourages this to thrive. They spend tens of thousands of pounds every year on fencing to keep out Badgers and Foxes from eating the ground nesting birds, but nearly always fail.

I was concerned that there was a statement recently that claimed there had been no benefit to other wildlife in the Badger culling areas. This is not what I heard from some farmers in the areas, but would like to know if this has been proved or is actually propaganda from May and Packham etc?
It's a nightmare trying to control vermin and predators. The balance now here is way out of kilter. Once upon a time I would be quite brazen about fox control, now it pays to keep quiet. The skies round here are black with corvids - once upon a time a couple of ladder traps capturing 20 to 30 a day in each kept the problem under control. Now with the Packhamesque General Licence fiasco, every barrack room lawyer would be in the fields opening the trap gates - and that also assumes what we are doing would be deemed legal anyway.

And that's without rampant buzzards, kites, badgers and the like. Not much predates them when their numbers get out of control

HK
 
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Danllan

Member
Location
Sir Gar / Carms
The thing is that modern farm has damaged the environment, you just need to look at our skies on a summers day and the number of swifts and swallows it half what it was 10 years ago, and that is largely down to reduced insect populations. Our rivers are filled with pesticides and nitrates from poor spray, fertilizer and manure application management. The government has to legislate so farmers cannot cut hedges during nesting season otherwise they would! etc

We do need to do more, there are many farmers who do good, you might be one of them but farmers who burn plastic at weekends, prop up fences with wooden pallets and tie gates up with barded wire need a serious talking to and your message will be better received by the public if you come forward with a bit of supplication. I am not a fan of the NFU, but they are embracing the Net Zero message which the public are into right now whilst at the same time defending farmers.
Unlike @Frank-the-Wool above, I agree with the rivers bit most. I know some rivers here and in Herts well, and I know people - including farmers - who have known and fished these rivers since before the War. All tell the same story, the variety and number of fish stocks is down enormously from what it was, the biggest fall being from the late 1940s onward. The link to modern ag' methods and chemicals is plain, but few on here will admit even the bleeding obvious in this regard - it's like trying to talk to Labour politicians about the nexus between ethnicity and knife crime... it mustn't exist, so it doesn't exist, so they won't discuss it. 😐

The NFU are a bunch of f ^ c k i n g self-perpetuating, self-interested hypocrites, and are not even particularly effective in that capacity. It's no surprise that the alternative for the acronym is No F'ing Use

In re swallows you are wrong, the numbers aren't coming. I've been in West and North West Africa and seen the nets set for swallows and other migratory birds, around water and on flight paths. And that was when the nets were made by hand, years before China flooded the area with dirt cheap nylon 'mist' nets, which they have for nearly 20 years now. I'm still in occasional contact with people out there and nets are now there in much, much greater numbers, a very conservative estimate being twenty times as many; and it is this, far more than any evolutionarily manageable climate change, that has seen such a huge fall in numbers... :(
 

Muddyroads

Member
Location
Devon
I grow a field at Dawlish for the RSPB as part of a section 106 project. It’s specifically aimed at providing the best habitat for Cirl buntings, a small and rather innocuous rare bird. They require low, uncut hedgerows for nesting and spring barley or oats left as an overwinter stubble. When I planted the crop last year, there were 13 magpies in the field, there were at least 10 there last week when I was there. Without the magpies being controlled, the Cirl buntings have no chance and the RSPB are simply wasting money.
 

Danllan

Member
Location
Sir Gar / Carms
I grow a field at Dawlish for the RSPB as part of a section 106 project. It’s specifically aimed at providing the best habitat for Cirl buntings, a small and rather innocuous rare bird. They require low, uncut hedgerows for nesting and spring barley or oats left as an overwinter stubble. When I planted the crop last year, there were 13 magpies in the field, there were at least 10 there last week when I was there. Without the magpies being controlled, the Cirl buntings have no chance and the RSPB are simply wasting money.
You raise an important point - control of corvids etc.. There are now nowhere near as many gamekeepers as there were even forty years ago, and they - often over-zealously - kept numbers down significantly, as well as badgers and foxes, all of which meant that wild ground-nesting birds and small birds were being protected as well as the horrible pheasants.

What we see with current corvid numbers is probably nearer a natural norm than when small bird numbers started being recorded during highly-keepered times - and that would have lead to an inaccurate and subsequently unattainable datum...
 

Formatted

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Sussex
If only we had a dislike button! Our rivers are filled with pesticides and nitrates are they? Prove it!
Go look at https://magic.defra.gov.uk/ and find your nearest NVZ, it will have the test results

The public aren't 'embracing Net Zero' any more than the masses 'embraced conscription' in WW1. The political class have decided Net Zero is the thing they want, and everyone else will get it regardless.
They are though; maybe its because we move in different circles but at every level, people on the street, charities, businesses, local government to national government Net Zero is a big deal
 

In conversation with a soil health pioneer

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In conversation with a soil health pioneer

Written by Janet Hughes



https://www.buzzsprout.com/1657363/8311877-janet-hughes-and-gabe-brown-the-six-principles-of-soil-health.mp3

In this month's Future Farming podcast, Janet Hughes talks to Gabe Brown.

Gabe has been named one of the twenty-five most influential agricultural leaders in the United States. He farms at...
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