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

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New report suggests that trees on farms are essential to improve productivity and environmental protection post Brexit

Major agroforestry trials should be established during the EU withdrawal period according to a report launched today by the Woodland Trust and the Soil Association. The policy document, entitled “Agroforestry in England: Benefits, Barriers and Opportunities” also suggests that government support for farmer-led research and innovation networks seeking to integrate trees and agriculture should be trialled. … Continue reading New report suggests that trees on farms are essential to improve productivity and environmental protection post Brexit

Woodland Trust event calls for farmers to respond to Defra Command Paper

Last week I attended an event organised by the Woodland Trust and hosted by Stephen Briggs at his farm in Cambridgeshire. The aim of the afternoon was partly to introduce farmers to the potential for using agroforestry on their farms, partly to discuss the Defra 'Health and Harmony' consultation document and partly to encourage delegates … Continue reading Woodland Trust event calls for farmers to respond to Defra Command Paper

This week in farming, conservation and the countryside (9th March 2018)

This is the first post of a brand new section on thinkingcountry. Each Friday I will focus on a few of the events and things of interest that have happened during the previous week in farming, conservation and the countryside. It is something that I have been meaning to do for a while, but haven't … Continue reading This week in farming, conservation and the countryside (9th March 2018)

The Barriers to Diversification on Upland-Hill Livestock Grazing Farms – guest post by Max Hamer

Can farmers really afford to survive without subsidies? I am an Agricultural Degree student at Askham Bryan College in York studying in my final year. Growing up in a farming community in the Yorkshire Dales I have always had a great interest in agriculture. As part of the BSc Hons course, and in addition to … Continue reading The Barriers to Diversification on Upland-Hill Livestock Grazing Farms – guest post by Max Hamer

Hydroponics: Pros and Cons of Hydroponic Gardening – Guest post by Dan Chabert

Hydroponic farming is one of the most misrepresented farming methods around the world. I mean, it sounds like an alien if not a futuristic concept growing food without a single grain of soil. One of the major reasons hydroponics has been gaining a foothold is because studies have shown that this farming type may soon … Continue reading Hydroponics: Pros and Cons of Hydroponic Gardening – Guest post by Dan Chabert

‘Health, Beauty and Permanence’ – Reflections on Michael Gove’s NFU Conference speech

I haven't made it to the NFU Conference this year, but thanks to the wonders of youtube I was at least able to catch outgoing NFU President Meurig Raymond's speech and Defra Secretary Michael Gove's speech (thanks @NFUtube!). You can of course read the full speech from the Secretary of State here. Here is a brief … Continue reading ‘Health, Beauty and Permanence’ – Reflections on Michael Gove’s NFU Conference speech

‘Meet the Farmers’ – episode 14 – Tom Bradshaw at Fletchers Farm

Tom Bradshaw is a forward thinking arable farmer with diversification key to his overall business. The equestrian yard at his home farm in Essex seems to be just as important to the long-term health of his business as the main arable enterprise which is based on contracting agreements with neighbouring farms. Tom is also a … Continue reading ‘Meet the Farmers’ – episode 14 – Tom Bradshaw at Fletchers Farm

Quick Report on Sentry Conference and general catch up post

Sunday afternoon has arrived and I've finally been able to sit down to settle into writing a blog post. I can't quite believe how quickly this winter has been ticking along and although I'm quite far through my list of winter tasks on the farm the end isn't quite in sight. Last week there was … Continue reading Quick Report on Sentry Conference and general catch up post