Our wild bird population is very healthy .. we do not feed all year, but these flower basket seed/fat ball feeders are really popular when they come out.. and the starlings are here in numbers. Noisy, active acrobats, Fortunately there is plenty to go around and they move on to let the other birds take their turn.
Loving the fleece that our new tup is growing .. well made, he is a lovely tempered boy too. All good traits to be adding to our future generations. Looking forward to spotty lambs in the spring.
There are a lot of conferences around and a lot of changes happening, what will be the outcome ?
Providing a platform for senior decision makers to discuss the key issues within UK Agriculture, Westminster Insight’s timely conference, The Future of Farming and Agriculture Conference, will feature contributions from industry leaders such as the NFU, WWF, and DEFRA.
Unpacking the UK Government’s ground-breaking new Agriculture Bill, the legislation aims to be the basis for a more progressive, profitable and sustainable environment for British farmers, as we move on from the EU Common Agricultural Policy.
Our delightful wee quail are back into lay ..well they have been for a bit now but been pigging out on the scrummy eggs for ourselves over the festives !! we will share now !!
2 boxes of quail eggs for sale today .. £3 for a dozen
I am going to make some baby Scotch eggs with a few others today .. yum
This is definitely US .. every day something is happening to improve our farm ecosystem, to benefit the natural history around us, that in turn benefits the livestock and harvest.
https://www.nffn.org.uk/ Join this as farmer or member of the public
What is the Nature Friendly Farming Network?
The landscape in the UK is shaped by farming. Yet not all change in recent times has been desirable; soils have been depleted, water courses degraded and nature has struggled to cope with the pace of change. We have seen declines in over 600 farmland species over the last 50 years. However, many farms are bucking this trend. Soils are being restored, nature is thriving and if more follow this lead we can reverse these declines. With over 70% of the UK being farmland, we need to act now to deliver for wildlife at a landscape scale.
This manifesto seeks to unite the many farmers who are passionate about wildlife and sustainable farming by providing a collective way forward: creating a nature friendly farming network.
The network is open to farmers and the public alike. We will use it to raise awareness of nature friendly farming, share insights and experience and work together for better policies for food and farming.
Talks on youtube from the 2019 conference
<a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAwo2UeKgBg” target=”_blank”>Silvopasture: Planting for Shelter & Forage – Lindsay Whistance, Organic Research Centre</a>
Silvopasture is an ancient practice that integrates trees & pasture into a single system for raising livestock. Research suggests silvopasture for outpaces any grassland technique for counteracting the methane emissions of livestock & sequestering carbon. There are also animal welfare benefits, providing shelter & shade. But how do you get started? What types of trees work best & how long will it take to establish? This session will hear from two farmers who have made a start- in different parts of the UK, with their own climate challenges; and a livestock researcher who will look at the nutritional & behavioural benefits of access to trees for livestock. Hosted by the PFLA Chair: Naomi Oakley. Speaker: Lindsay Whistance, Organic Research Centre
Across the country we need more local abattoirs AND more local butchery and storage facilities.. its not enough to be able to kill, we need facilities to hang for the best amount of time, and butchery to then make the best of the meat we have produced, for feeding ourselves, or selling to our local community.
https://www.localabattoirs.com/ : Local, traceable meat is only possible with smaller local abattoirs
No smaller, local abattoirs means no local, traceable meat
The UK’s vital network of smaller local abattoirs is an essential part of the infrastructure for the supply of local meat. Farmers, butchers and caterers all rely on them.
We must ensure their continued viability
The purpose of the Campaign For Local Abattoirs is to help ensure a sustainable future for a UK-wide network of smaller local abattoirs, through lobbying the UK governments to take urgent action, and by working with the industry and governments to find longer-term solutions to the problems facing the sector, including enabling the establishment of mobile abattoirs for on-farm slaughter. Report from 2018 http://sustainablefoodtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Re-localising-farm-animal-slaughter.pdf
Our lovely Muscovies at breakfast time . These birds are wonderful ducks, different from most of our domestic breeds who are derived from the wild mallard. The Muscovy comes originally from South Africa, is a big, strong, muscular bird.
Most of these are part of our 2018 hatch. Muscovy Mums are really effective, one of our girls was a significant over achiever, hatching and raising 20 youngsters all on her own.
These ducks are one of our working breeds : they lay delicious eggs, they are good meaty ducks, range over acres of grazing and to various ponds at liberty, most are shut in at night (some of them chose not to!!) and morning feeding happens over various parts of our grazing that needs to be conditioned. We are experimenting with working them over strimmed rushes to see if their extra nitrogen deposits will help counter these, and encourage better species of vegetation.
We have spare birds for sale : either as breeding birds, laying birds, or eating birds.