I’ve always admired the role farmers play in caring for the countryside and environment. As a wildlife enthusiast, I truly value their stewardship of the land, the way they introduce practices that encourage nature, and take on our climate change concerns.
They’ve had to adapt and diversify over the years, and this has been critical for our communities. Their flexibility post-Brexit will be tested once again of course, as Direct Payments are phased out and new funding streams introduced.
The government’s Farming Investment Fund is one of the ways through which profitability and environmental good can be achieved. Farmers and agricultural or forestry contractors involved in the production or processing of agricultural, horticultural or forestry products, who are based in England, can apply for these grants.
You’ll find more information here: defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/2021/03/30/the-farming-investment-fund-an-overview/
I note one of the funding streams is to help investment in equipment and technology. This reflects the innovation within farming today. They really are at the forefront of high tech; using satellite, robotics and complex automated systems to ensure high-quality food, increased yields, while embracing more environmentally-friendly methods.
Your District Council is exploring how we can support farmers transition to greener practices and become more resilient in the fight against climate change. We’ve recently invited farmers to come and consult with us. This is work is ongoing but, as guardians of a large proportion of the District’s natural capital, we recognise the significant opportunity our farmers have to be part of the solution.
Farming has faced so many stressful step changes. I’ve already touched on Brexit, and there’s the global pandemic too. It’s sometimes hard to find a silver-lining, when under such pressures. But it’s not been all bad news. During lockdown some have had that bit of extra time to get out and enjoy the countryside, to appreciate nature and the landscape surrounding us. Many have also rediscovered the joy of ‘buying local’. The produce is fresher, and it tastes better. It’s good for the planet too, with all those airmiles saved.
I am delighted that Mendip will be welcoming the Little Eat: Festivals to our high streets this summer. These sensational food and drink events not only showcase the very best in local produce, they bring residents and visitors to our high streets - and customers closer to our wonderful Mendip farmers and producers.
I’ll be there!
As always, do get in touch with any questions via email: [email protected] or via my Facebook page @Ros.Wyke.
Find out more about the Little Eat: Festivals on our website: www.mendip.gov.uk/news
Written by Cllr Ros Wyke, Leader of Mendip District Council
Please get in touch either on my Facebook page @Ros.Wyke or you can send me an email: [email protected].