I attended a most interesting conference organised by CPRE Shropshire.The whole event was very professionally run by CPRE. Speakers were dragooned into sticking to their time limits with unexpected ruthlessness. The result was plenty of time for questions and we finished on the dot. The speaker list was varied and stimulating. As always, it was nice to meet and chat to like minded individuals and catch up with acquaintances.
OK, so what did I learn? Four main points:
- Christopher Price from the CLA gave an informative account of what is actually going on in government to determine the future of farming and the environment. He said that the 25 year strategy paper on the environment was nearly ready but the sister paper on farming was held up because of the UK’s concern to develop a UK single market for farming post-Brexit. This is particularly difficult because agriculture is a devolved function and Scotland will not accept this approach.
- Mark Measures graphically illustrated the problems and wastage created by soil erosion and poor soil quality
- Liam Bell, a gamekeeper, explained how there are conservation benefits, such as more lapwings, from shooting lots of ducks
- But most interesting for me was Joy Greenall, an organic farmer from Newcastle on Clun who talked about her 130 acre farm Cow Hall. Only the previous day I had walked on the section of Offa’s Dyke near her farm and seen for myself the unusual cultivated uplands of the Clun forest. Her highest field is 1,300 ft, and this is the only one she ploughs – because it is the flattest! So keen students of my tweets will recognise that I have used the same photo twice – one for the walk tweet and one on this blog.
Thank you CPRE for such an interesting event.