Thursday, 1 March 2012

Natural England's fresh approach to hill-farming

Photo: Farmer's Weekly
See Jeremy Hunt's article in Farmer's weekly.  This is encouraging stuff and long overdue.  I note that there is still strong reference to stocking rates.  I do not know all the details on these farms, but this is a concept that can be too restrictive.  I argue that in addition to considering the number of sheep it is also essential to consider the timing.  This should be more sensitive to the needs of the land than simply summer and winter stocking rates.  This appears to be happening in the two case studies in the article, but I would like to see stocking linked to required outcomes and give the farmer more flexibility to manage the land to achieve this.  Work with the land!  Power to the farmer!

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