‘Meet the Farmers’ – episode 36 – Patrick and Brian Barker

Patrick and Brian Barker (aka The Barker Boys) grow cereals, herbage grass seed, linseed, spring beans and, until recently, oil seed rape, across 513 hectares in Suffolk.  Situated on the North Suffolk Claylands, the cousins have put active research at the heart of moving their business forwards as well as boosting biodiversity through conservation and … Continue reading ‘Meet the Farmers’ – episode 36 – Patrick and Brian Barker

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Book Review – The Easternmost House – by Juliet Blaxland

‘’The Easternmost House is a portrait of a place that soon will no longer exist. It is a memorial to this house and the lost village it represents, and to our ephemeral life here, so that something of it will remain once it has all gone.’’ The bar was set high when I read the … Continue reading Book Review – The Easternmost House – by Juliet Blaxland

‘Meet the Farmers’ – episode 26 – Teleri Fielden

I'm really excited to introduce this special podcast episode to you which was produced in collaboration with Matt Williams and the Wild Voices Project podcast. We visited Teleri Fielden (@TeleriFielden), a first generation farmer, who won a Wales Young Farmers Clubs and National Trust scholarship to run a farm in north west Wales for three … Continue reading ‘Meet the Farmers’ – episode 26 – Teleri Fielden

The Hare, why I love it and why we might lose it

Working on a mixed farm with a mosaic of arable cropping, tussocky grassland, marshland and hay meadows I am lucky to be able to see a wide variety of species, although I would love for wildlife abundance to be still greater, a difficult prospect when wildlife is under threat from so many angles. Hares have … Continue reading The Hare, why I love it and why we might lose it

Opening Doors to Shared Ownership in the Countryside

First-time buyers often perceive that properties in the countryside are only within reach of the very rich, and their only chance for affordable housing is to head to the city. Well, shared ownership could change all that. In recent years, the cry from those who have lived in rural areas is that they are often … Continue reading Opening Doors to Shared Ownership in the Countryside

Does the Agriculture Bill actually mean anything?

Last week I visited Mark Hayward, a farmer in Suffolk who runs Dingley Dell Pork (watch this space for an upcoming podcast episode). I was particularly impressed by him and brother's drive and determination to improve the abundance of wildlife on their farm in real terms; ie not just engaging with Natural England led schemes but … Continue reading Does the Agriculture Bill actually mean anything?

Music, Art, Creativity and the Countryside

Countless great pieces of music and art are influenced by the natural world and rural landscapes. The works of Ralph Vaughan Williams for example, or Beethoven's 6th Symphony or Chopin's Raindrop Prelude are all influenced by the outdoors. Elgar was influenced by his beloved Malvern Hills, Benjamin Britten by the Suffolk coast and Holst the … Continue reading Music, Art, Creativity and the Countryside

‘Meet the Farmers’ – episode 18 – Matt Naylor

I've been conscious that Meet the Farmers has been somewhat south and east focused so far, so last week I set off on a road trip to south east Scotland (including the Highland Show), stopping off at farms along the way. On the first day I called by flower grower Matt Naylor's place in Lincolnshire. … Continue reading ‘Meet the Farmers’ – episode 18 – Matt Naylor

Making hay while the sun shines

Unless you have downloaded the Met Office app, set your alarm for 6.25pm to catch the evening weather forecast, own a weather station or simply keep one eye permanently fixed on the sky you cannot really call yourself a proper Brit. As a nation we are frankly obsessed with the weather. This is often called … Continue reading Making hay while the sun shines