26 episodes

The latest news about food, farming and the countryside

Farming Today BBC Radio 4

    • Science
    • 4.4 • 285 Ratings

The latest news about food, farming and the countryside

    29/05/24 - A new National Park for Scotland, horned cattle and biofluorescence

    29/05/24 - A new National Park for Scotland, horned cattle and biofluorescence

    Scotland is to get at least one new national park - due to be designated in 2026. Groups in Tay Forest, Loch Awe, Lochaber, Galloway, and the Borders have now submitted formal bids for the Scottish Government to consider...but not everyone’s keen on the idea.
    Farming traditional native breed cattle with horns, like Gloucester’s and Longhorns, is becoming increasingly difficult because abattoirs don’t have the facilities to deal with those horns. We hear from one farmer who says his herd of 80 longhorns may no longer be viable.
    And we head out on a night time, biofluorescence safari to see the natural world in a whole new light.
    Presented by Caz Graham
    Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Heather Simons

    • 13 min
    28/05/2024: National Parks and International Seed Banks

    28/05/2024: National Parks and International Seed Banks

    Environmentalist Ben Goldsmith blames sheep grazing for turning the UKs National Parks into ‘dead zones’.
    Neil Heseltine the chair of National Parks England responds, and explains what role he sees for these institutions.
    One of the two scientists who was instrumental in creating a back-up vault of the world’s crop seeds to protect global food security, explain how it works.
    Presented by Charlotte Smith
    Produced by Alun Beach

    • 14 min
    27/05/24 The D-Day farms

    27/05/24 The D-Day farms

    To mark the 80th anniversary of Vernon Harwood tells the story of Britain's D-Day farms.
    As dawn broke on the morning of the 6th June 1944 thousands of Allied ships and landing craft carrying more than 150,000 troops approached the beaches of Normandy in Northern France as the largest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare got underway. Meanwhile the airborne assault involved more than 11,000 aircraft making it the single largest aerial operation ever seen. D-Day had arrived. Code-named Operation Overlord, it would eventually result in the liberation of Western Europe, the defeat of Hitler’s Germany and the end of the Second World War. But what part did the fields, farms and country estates of England have in the success of the Allied invasion?
    Landowners, farmers and their families played a vital role in the crucial months leading up to D-Day. Large parts of rural England were taken over by the military and transformed in the process.
    The journey starts at The D-Day Story in Portsmouth where the museum archives and exhibits help reveal the background to this complex strategic and logistical exercise. At Chavenage House in Gloucestershire, the Lowsley-Williams family moved out of their home to make way for an American unit working on ‘ultra-secret’ maps. The Hampshire village of Southwick hosted General Dwight D. Eisenhower while U.S. troops helped with the haymaking and in Dorset an historic farm at Tarrant Rushton was flattened in favour of an airfield.

    Produced and presented by Vernon Harwood.

    • 12 min
    25/05/24 Farming Today This Week: The Chelsea Flower Show; what farmers want from a new government

    25/05/24 Farming Today This Week: The Chelsea Flower Show; what farmers want from a new government

    This week as the Prime Minister sets the date for the General Election, we ask what farmers will be looking for.
    And as antidote to all the politics, we bring you flowers. All week we've been taking time to enjoy the blooms, inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show.
    Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

    • 25 min
    24/05/2024: Farmers on the election, Mushroom farming, Growing flowers

    24/05/2024: Farmers on the election, Mushroom farming, Growing flowers

    Farmers from different parts of the industry say what they want from the next government.
    A woman who swapped a life in the luxury hospitality business in Jamaica for mushroom farming on Scotland’s west coast.
    And an arable farm which specialises in growing flowers for the British market.
    Presented by Caz Graham
    Produced by Alun Beach

    • 13 min
    23/05/24 General election and rural vote; Daffodils; New planning rules and land values.

    23/05/24 General election and rural vote; Daffodils; New planning rules and land values.

    The date's been set for a general election. Some would argue all the main political parties have been wooing the farming and rural vote for months now, Rishi Sunak was the first PM in 16 years to appear at the NFU conference this spring, Labour’s promising a rural crime strategy and the Lib Dems say they’d put an extra billion pounds into farming budgets. According to the Rural Service Network 40% of constituencies are rural, and that rural vote will be a key battleground, especially in the light of the recent local elections where the Conservative party had its worst results in years.
    The wet weather we’ve experienced this year has been a real challenge for farmers and that's affected flower growers too. As part of our week-long look at the flower-growing industry in the UK, we’ve been finding out how the weather’s affected this year’s daffodil harvest with a visit to a grower in Cornwall.
    Changes to planning law came into effect this week making it easier for farmers to convert unused farm buildings into new homes and new businesses like farm shops. It means buildings can be altered to create up to 10 homes, without planning permission. Some are worried that this is going to push up the value of land with farm buildings, and price smaller farmers and new entrants out of the market.
    Presenter = Caz Graham
    Producer = Rebecca Rooney

    • 13 min

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