27 episodes

The latest news about food, farming and the countryside

Farming Today BBC Radio 4

    • Science
    • 4.4 • 272 Ratings

The latest news about food, farming and the countryside

    30/01/23 Welsh Agriculture Bill; Rural poverty; Giant Hedge.

    30/01/23 Welsh Agriculture Bill; Rural poverty; Giant Hedge.

    The Welsh Government should add more clarity to the bill bringing in the ‘made for Wales’ agriculture policy. That's according to the Senedd’s Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee which has scrutinised the bill, making 50 recommendations. It paves the way for a new Sustainable Farming Scheme - SFS - which is expected to come in 2025. It will pay farmers for efforts to protect and enhance Wales' scenery, environment and wildlife as well as good farming practice. We speak to the committee chair MS Paul Davies who say's it's a vital piece of legislation.

    Wandering through the average rural village, poverty is probably not what you see, we’re more likely to notice the picturesque pub or the well-appointed village green, but this week we’re going to be looking at rural poverty, often a hidden aspect of life in the countryside. The Rural Services Network says : If England’s rural communities were treated as a distinct region, their need for levelling up would be greater than any other." Janet Dwyer, Professor of Rural Policy at the University of Gloucestershire explains how the way we measure an areas affluence is part of the problem:

    An environmental group in Dorset is drawing up plans to plant a hedge that they say will cover nearly 100 miles. The volunteers behind the scheme hope the giant hedge will become a wildlife corridor and boost biodiversity.

    Presenter = Charlotte Smith
    Producer = Rebecca Rooney

    • 11 min
    28/01/23 FTTW: Land use, Defra secretary, fishing week

    28/01/23 FTTW: Land use, Defra secretary, fishing week

    Farming and the environment with the Defra Secretary, Therese Coffey.
    How should we use our land? With competing priorities of housing, solar farms, food production and woodland to name but a few, who decides? We hear from Sir Charles Godfray, director of the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University.
    And research on abuse of migrant labour within the fishing industry.

    Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

    • 25 min
    27/01/23 - Defra minister on new environmental schemes; Fishing

    27/01/23 - Defra minister on new environmental schemes; Fishing

    The secretary of state for the environment, Therese Coffey, has visited a farm in Berkshire to sell the updated version of the SFI - the Sustainable Farming Incentive which will pay English farmers to do good things for the environment, such as maintaining hedgerows or improving soil. It's the first tier of the Environmental Land Management Schemes - ELMs - which offer farmers payments for public goods, rather than direct subsidy, the BPS payments, as has been the case under the EU's CAP.

    The scheme's being expanded and that's been broadly welcomed by farmers - who can now get better payments for 280 actions they can take on their land, but conservationists question the level of ambition in the SFI, though welcome news that more projects will be supported under another ELMs scheme, Landscape Recovery.

    The main industry bodies representing fishermen in the UK say the industry faces a 'frightening' loss of fishing grounds over the coming decades due to the expansion of protected marines areas and offshore wind farms. The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations and the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation says there should be more engagement with the industry to minimise and mitigate the displacement of fishing activity.

    Presenter: Charlotte Smith
    Producer: Rebecca Rooney

    • 13 min
    26/01/23 - The Scottish hunting ban, more detail on English farm payments, rural buses, abuse in migrant fishing crews

    26/01/23 - The Scottish hunting ban, more detail on English farm payments, rural buses, abuse in migrant fishing crews

    The Scottish Government says its Hunting with Dogs Bill, passed by MSPs this week, will end illegal hunts by closing a loophole in the law. It aims to prevent packs of dogs chasing and killing wild mammals, such as foxes and hares. But animal rights organisations say the provision of a licencing scheme leaves a loophole, while land managers say the change is unnecessary and impractical.

    The government is clamping down on the abuse of fishing crews; so says the fishing (and farming) minister Mark Spencer.

    More options, improved payments, and an accelerated rollout: today more details have been released on England's 'public money for public goods' payment system, and has got a cautious welcome from farmers and conservationists.

    And rural transport must change drastically if local bus services are to survive. That was the message yesterday to a special one-off session of Parliament's transport committee.

    Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

    • 13 min
    25/01/23 25/01/23 Burning heather on peatlands; Fishing apprenticeships

    25/01/23 25/01/23 Burning heather on peatlands; Fishing apprenticeships

    A new study has found that small-scale burning of heather on peatlands can be beneficial to ground nesting birds, and the peat itself. The practice of burning heather has been controversial - it's sometimes supported by managers of grouse-shooting moorland, but opposed by many conservationists. The study will span 20 years and is now half way through. It compares three different management techniques - controlled burning, mowing, and no-management. We speak to Associate Professor Andreas Heinemeyer, from the Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York who's led the research.

    Experts from the Wildlife Trusts however, say peatlands are vital for carbon capture, and bogs should not be managed for heather. They say heather's a sign of peatland that's dried out and the best way to manage them is to re-wet them. They don't want any burning of vegetation on peatland at all.

    All week we're looking at the fishing industry. Recruiting more UK workers is a problem for the sector. A new Fishers Apprenticeship hopes to attract more young people.The programme is a collaboration between the fishing industry and South Devon College, and is open for applicants right now. We speak to a fishing company in Brixham who are looking for apprentices and South Devon College who'll be teaching them.

    Presenter = Anna Hill
    Producer = Rebecca Rooney

    • 13 min
    24/02/2023 Fishing labour and visas; Land use and land values.

    24/02/2023 Fishing labour and visas; Land use and land values.

    All week we're taking a closer look at the UK's fishing industry. It was supposed to be a major beneficiary of Brexit. However fishing fleets across the country say although they can now catch more fish overall, current conditions mean they are still struggling. We report from Fraserburgh Fish Market where fishermen say one of the biggest problems they face is staff shortages. Scottish fishing boats were forced to leave 15 thousand tonnes of small haddock in the sea last year due to a reduction in on shore processing workers. The Northern Ireland Fish Producers Organisation wants the government to delay the introduction of new visas: instead of existing transit visas, which have enabled international fishermen to work on UK boats, in future they'll need a 'skilled worker' visas which includes passing an intermediate English language test.

    The debate around how we use land, is becoming ever more complicated, as homes, food, energy and mitigating climate change, are all pressing concerns. Recent figures show arable land prices rose 12 percent in 2022, partly due to higher grain prices following the war in Ukraine but there's also been a trend for more institutions to invest in land,. We hear from Tony Juniper, head of the Environment Agency and the Green Alliance who are publishing a report on communities and land use.

    Presenter = Anna Hill
    Producer = Rebecca Rooney

    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
272 Ratings

272 Ratings

Be cat ,

Short and Factual

Great little 15mins catch up and updates - a key listen for farmers and surveyors

bobski 123 ,

Bobski

Excellent Programme

grass man 01 ,

Disgraceful

Waste of time worst than countryfile needs more talk about agriculture and farm livestock

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