This autumn will have come none too soon for many South East farmers.
It’s been a harvest to forget; wet weather last autumn left growers struggling to get wheat in the ground, and then the dry spring and wet weather during August took their toll.
It is hard to believe four years have passed since the UK voted to leave the EU. Many thought the referendum result would impact lifestyles in ways not experienced for generations.
Opposing points of view divided families and shortened political careers.
The countryside is opening its doors, after the financial and psychological trauma of lockdown.
Some vineyards are again offering tours and other events and, while the effects of Covid-19 will be felt for many years, there is still cause for optimism in the medium and long term.
All eyes in the shooting community have been focused on Wild Justice’s demands for a judicial review into game bird release, but a lesser publicised planning decision could also have big implications.
The authorities recently rejected an appeal against an enforcement notice which restricted the number of shooting days on a much-respected South Downs estate.
Article by Alex Macdonald Open PDF
‘Planning’ and ‘simple’ are two words that rarely go together.
As anyone who has had dealings with it will know, the planning system can be complex, confusing and costly.
The existence of Permitted Development Rights (PDRs), however, offer farmers a streamlined – and, yes, simple – process for erecting or converting buildings.
It is, or course, a clarion call for the benefits of mixed farming, highlighting how the fortunes of the various sectors are rarely in step and how tough times in one often coincide with periods of relative prosperity in another.
“Thank you to British Farmers” the full page message from the supermarket Morrisons proclaimed, recognising the sterling work done by farmers keeping food on the nation’s tables during the coronavirus crisis.
There’s BPS, NVZ, GMs, SSSI, AONBs and the RPA just for starters. We’ll need to get used to a new one, though – BNG.
It stands for Biodiversity Net Gain and it might just prove to be one of the most important concepts some farmers can be involved with over the coming years.
Article by Anthony Weston Open PDF
A lot of viticulturists can’t think further ahead than the next week – or even the next day – at present, as they fight to keep businesses afloat in these unprecedented times.