Category Archives: Farming

The impact of upland farming – Part 4 of 4: Definitions and conclusions.

In many ways, George Monbiot’s book Feral, is a curious amalgam of anecdote, ecological theory, polemic and autobiography. On two or three occasions, he seems to feel intimately and mystically connected to events (as he envisages them) in the distant geological past. … Continue reading

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The impact of upland farming – Part 3a: A short walk upon Bodmin Moor.

Yesterday, in a spirit of inquiry, I set off early to Camelford and then to the north side of Bodmin Moor. My aim was to walk up to the top of Rough Tor, which is just to the north of … Continue reading

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The impact of upland farming – Part 3 of 4: Ecology of the uplands in transition.

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 … Continue reading

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The impact of upland farming: Part 2 of 4 – The invisible strands of culture.

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 … Continue reading

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The impact of upland farming. Part 1 of 4 – economics.

Upland farming has come under attack recently from a number of sources. Criticism is often levelled at hill farmers because they require large public subsidies to keep them going. Grumbling is also directed at hill farmers because they are perceived … Continue reading

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Flooding, maize and undersowing.

It has been raining a lot throughout England and Wales just recently. According to the map below (H/T Phil Latham) parts of Devon, Dorset and throughout the Midlands, there has been in excess of 55% of the average rainfall for … Continue reading

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Where is the Soil Association going with all this? An open letter to Helen Browning.

[As an explanatory note: Helen Browning OBE is Chief Executive of the Soil Association.] Dear Helen, A few days ago, the Soil Association tweeted a message about the advantages of organic farming with respect to animal welfare. The short film attached … Continue reading

Posted in Common Agricultural Policy, Environment, Farming | 4 Comments