6 episodes

The latest news about food, farming and the countryside

Farming Today BBC

    • Science

The latest news about food, farming and the countryside

    24/07/21 - Mussels, Meadows and Livestock Scares

    24/07/21 - Mussels, Meadows and Livestock Scares

    All this week Farming Today has been hearing about meadows, and today Caz Graham speaks to James Allen who says it is possible to make a living from grazing heritage breeds of livestock on wildflower meadows. Caz has also been in the Westmorland Dales near Kirkby to meet Andrew Walter and find out why hay meadows are a special place. Rebecca Rooney is in the Thames Valley wading through water meadows to find out about a project to preserve these habitats. Ewan Murrie is aboard a boat of a mussel farmer who has seen his business slump since the end of the Brexit transition period. Sacha Dench is flying high above the UK in an electric paramotor but owing to a limited battery life finds herself landing frequently in farmland. Charlotte Smith asks her how she's received, and a farmer in Somerset says more needs to be done to protect livestock after her cows were spooked by a low-flying hot air balloon.

    Presenter: Caz Graham
    Producer in Bristol: Toby Field

    • 25 min
    23/07/21 - New field sports coalition, Upland meadows, Seed demand

    23/07/21 - New field sports coalition, Upland meadows, Seed demand

    The Game Fair takes place this weekend at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire. Caz Graham talks to Tim Bonner from the Countryside Alliance about the anticipation ahead of the event, and about the launch of a new coalition of rural, shooting and fishing organisations.

    In the last of our reports from meadows across the country, Caz Graham has been to Bowber Head Farm in the Westmorland Dales. It's a fine example of a traditional upland hay meadow, and a Site of Special Scientific Interest managed by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

    And we meet seed producers Kate McEvoy and Ben Gabel who run Real Seeds in Pembrokeshire, selling vegetable seeds to small-scale growers and gardeners. They tell Verity Sharp that one unexpected consequence of the pandemic has been that more of us are growing our own veg, and that’s led to a surge in demand for seeds.

    Presented by Caz Graham and produced by Sophie Anton.

    • 13 min
    22/07/21 - Food standards, Exporting mussels, Wildflower meadows, Paramotor landings

    22/07/21 - Food standards, Exporting mussels, Wildflower meadows, Paramotor landings

    The food assurance scheme Red Tractor is set to announce new standards for farmers that are being brought in from the 1st of November. Caz Graham is speaking to Jim Moseley about how farmers will meet these standards and asks what it might mean for consumers. Ewan Murrie meets a bivalve mollusc farmer who is struggling to trade since the Brexit transition period came to an end. Bob Hockenhall takes a walk through a wildflower meadow in Warwickshire to hear about a new project to boost biodiversity. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's Sacha Dench, flying high about the UK in an electric-powered paramotor and she says farmland can provide surprising sources of thermal energy.

    Presenter: Caz Graham
    Producer in Bristol: Toby Field

    • 13 min
    21/07/21 - Badger cull in Northern Ireland, Crop diversification, Water Meadows

    21/07/21 - Badger cull in Northern Ireland, Crop diversification, Water Meadows

    A badger cull could be introduced into Northern Ireland to help stop the spread of Bovine TB. But will it work? A new report has brought together the results of fifty-five thousand experiments about crop diversification. Sybil Ruscoe speaks to the report's author. For Meadows week Rebecca Rooney visits a water meadow in the Thames Valley to hear about the benefit these spaces have on yields, biodiversity and productivity, and Sybil asks farmer Olly Harrison about harvesting in this very hot weather.

    Presenter: Sybil Ruscoe
    Producer in Bristol: Toby Field

    • 13 min
    20/07/21 - Free farming advice, A meadow nature reserve, Wild verges

    20/07/21 - Free farming advice, A meadow nature reserve, Wild verges

    A new government fund has been made available to help farmers access specialist advice about how they transition from the old Basic Payment Scheme of direct farm payments, and into the new ELMS scheme, which will give public money for public good. Sybil Ruscoe speaks to the Farming Minister Victoria Prentis about the fund, the advice that will be available, and whether it's the money being promised will be enough. Farmer Tim Hankins has taken part in the pilot scheme and he says it's changed the way he runs his business.

    It's meadows week on Farming Today and this morning Kingcombe nature reserve is the destination where the Wildlife Trust are working to put farming and conservation side by side. And Steve Knibbs reports on some of the councils who are letting some of their verges run wild.

    Presenter: Sybil Ruscoe
    Producer in Bristol: Toby Field

    • 13 min
    19/07/21 Wildflower meadows, giant sequoias, UN report to preserve and protect nature

    19/07/21 Wildflower meadows, giant sequoias, UN report to preserve and protect nature

    97% of wildflower meadows have disappeared over the last 100 years, leaving just 1% covering the UK. Why ask why that matters.
    Nearly 500 saplings of the world’s largest tree, the giant sequoia, have been planted in Brecon. The team behind the project says it'll be the largest plantation in Europe, and that each tree will offset one person's lifetime carbon footprint.
    A new report by the UN’s Global Diversity Framework aims to preserve and protect nature and its essential services to people. It suggests reducing pesticide use by two thirds, managing agriculture, fisheries and forestry sustainably and conserving 30% of land and sea for nature.

    Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Beatrice Fenton.

    • 11 min

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