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Cousins working together on our family owned farm with the aim of running a commercial modern farm producing high yielding, high standard crops while maximising wildlife diversity. Brian is said to be the farmer and conservationist, whereas Patrick is a conservationist and farmer. This mix has given a new direction for the farm, building upon the work that our fathers and grandfather has done to improve the overall success of the farm business. The farm has gone from strength to strength with the farm being recognised at a national level winning the coveted National FWAG’s Silver Lapwing Award for farming and conservation in 2009 and then Patrick and Brian were named Countryside Farmer of the Year by the Farmers Weekly in 2010.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Educational visits and Permissive access money removed by DEFRA

 Oh dear, DEFRA's spending review belt has just been tightened again! One of the aims of our scheme was to get people on farm and educate them about farming. Under the new revised scheme all funding for educational visits and permissive access has been taken away. This will now affect all new farmers applying for HLS agreements. Our own agreement will carry on until we re-apply but I can't think that this is beneficial to DEFRA at all, for the amount of money it was costing Natural England it was giving farmers the push they needed to actually go out and get the general public on their farm. Everyone we have had out on the farm has been really interested and had a great visit and this PR for the industry is vital in our eyes. Its a real shame that the government do not see it as important. Also affected are all the new public permissive access routes so horse riders, walkers and cyclist you will only have 5 more years of open farm track before they unfortunately will be shut and no more opened and you will have to go back to riding on the busy roads as we can not financially justify having these areas left uncropped without these payments. Hopefully in 5years time countryside access maybe seen a bit more important and our farm network will stay open. Once again the cost cutting exercise has been carried out on areas that give more benefit than cost of pounds. It is a shame for all who enjoy the countryside and want to improve the PR of a industry that needs to opens its gates to reconnect the public with where their food comes from. B

1 comment:

  1. I have a 600ac HLS on my farm with about three miles of paths. While i can only do my best in achieving my "indicators of success" with breeding waders and m'butterflies the footpaths and bridleways were the one part that is guarenteed to succeed and give true value for money to tax payers!! Obviously i am a fan of conservation farming but taking the emphasis away from access is plain bonkers.

    Keep up the blogging.