Support farmers and respect the countryside they work in - Jemma Pyne column

PUBLISHED: 08:00 19 September 2020

Jemma Pyne

Jemma Pyne


Farmer Jemma Pyne writes about the need to support farmers and respect the countryside

Animal exploitation, noise and dust, huge tractors, chemical run-offs, damaging wildlife habitats; all depressing headlines.

Over the years farming has received a bad press, as a result even responsible farmers have kept their heads down and done little to change this view.

But this is not the full story.

Farmers are key workers in the national food chain, soils, trees and hedgerows provide vital stores of carbon and views across crops and pasture provide wellbeing benefits to those who are lucky to live nearby.

Farmers deserve a better press:

● Animal welfare laws in this country ensure some of the highest standards in the world.

● Farm shops give the public the chance to buy local, seasonal food, close to where it was grown.

● Organic farming is increasing with a ‘less is more, and none is even better’ approach with regards to using chemicals.

● More focus on protecting the environment and habitats. Farmers set aside land for nature, work alongside conservationists.

● Open farm days provide opportunities to see working practices, ask questions and learn more.

Hundreds of miles of public footpaths cross farmland where you can observe the seasonal changes in the landscape. Spring brings lambing, cattle being turned out, fields being prepared for crops. Summer sees golden fields of wheat and barley ripening up and the combine harvesters doing their thing. With autumn comes the bountiful crops of root veg and brassicas. The hard work doesn’t stop during winter, with livestock often needing extra care, in the colder months.

Buying local produce supports your local economy, helps your environment, and if you appreciate being able to enjoy the countryside, help take care of it - pay attention to your surroundings and your part to play in it – stick to the footpaths, keep dogs on a lead, take litter home and don’t start fires. Most importantly, support farmers this autumn, respect the land they work on and celebrate British produce, because it’s the best!

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