Wednesday, 23 November 2011

EC Pressure on Irish Bogs

The pressure from the EC on the Irish Government is increasing to stop the cutting of turf (peat) on protected Irish bogs.  See the article in the Irish Times.

While we may agree that this is correct, what about the peat extraction in the UK?  It seems odd, to say the least, that we are talking the the talk about re-wetting to conserve peat and carbon while peat extraction is still allowed to continue.  There is a site not far from here in Dumfries.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

FWAG in receivership

See the Farmers Guardian article from more information about an appeal for funds.  The article refers to the UK and seems to ignore the fact that FWAG Scotland disappeared sometime ago.  Presumably FAWG Cymru is suffering the same fate, but can anyone confirm this?

Visit to Northern Ireland for the NSA

I visited Northern Ireland at the invitation of the National Sheep Association to speak at two workshops: at Glenwherry in Co. Antrim and at Hilltown, close to the Mourne Mountains.  The Glenwherry event was written up in the Irish Farmers Journal and the article can be read here.

Sustainable Uplands - Richard May

Richard, as a Board member, is not just a star, he is now a star of stage and screen.  In this video, he supports Mark Reed, the project manager, in discussing the Sustainable Uplands project.

Sustainable Uplands Music Video

This video produced by the Sustainable Uplands Project, which I have been part of, captures the artistry of 20:20 Vision and presents some stunning images and video accompanied by compelling music.  Recommended watching for all with a passion for moorlands, uplands or bogs.  It serves to remind us of why we care about such areas.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Phytophthora Lateralis

The Forestry Commission has confirmed that this diseases has been found on Lawson Cypress trees in Devon.  For more detail see the FC website.

This is another variant of the diseases P. Ramorum and P. Kernoviae which have been associated with attacks on larch trees and also on bilberry & heather.  It is something that I am keeping a close eye on as these diseases have the potential to cause the loss of heather on a large scale.

Monday, 7 November 2011

The Abbeystead Meeting

The Northern Farmer has published a report about the meeting at Abbeystead that followed the AGM on 27 September 2011.  See today's earlier post for views about sheep ticks arising from the meeting.

Tick Bites and Lyme disease

If you are seeking extra detail about Lyme disease, following the earlier post, may I draw your attention to the excellent Factsheet published by the Royal Forestry Society?

Of particular note is the photograph of the 'bullseye' rash.  If you see one of these, it is time for prompt action.

Sheep Ticks - Farmers Guardian

The meeting we held at Abbeystead on the back of the AGM, on 27 September has resulted in some press coverage about sheep ticks in the Farmers Guardian.  This is good to see as there has been little recent coverage about the threat that sheep ticks pose to livestock and upland bird populations through the diseases they spread.  We should not ignore the link to the human disease, Lyme disease.  Also, sheep ticks are closely associated with dense stands of bracken as they benefit from the deep litter.

The three articles can be viewed here:
   Why worry about sheep ticks?
   Climate change could make ticks more of a threat
   Ticks are proving a persistent problem on a Lancashire farm  Malcolm Handley is a member of the Trust.

My thanks go to Neil Ryder, who is now a freelance journalist.  He attended the Abbeystead meeting and  these articles followed.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Time to prey on predators

See the article by Robin Page in this morning's Telegraph.

"We must cull the killing machines now if we are to preserve the balance of nature in this country."