From the editor: "An environmental paradox"

Given last week's 'treeathon' which dominated the Royal Welsh Show and livestock consistently being seen as the bad guy in the climate change conundrum, it will come as no surprise that documents are circulating around government departments outlining destocking as the best way forward. 

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From the editor: "An environmental paradox"

With seemingly no acknowledgement of the positive role livestock play in the UK landscape - food security being just one - there also seems to be a lack of understanding that governments in all nations need farmers on side if they are to get anywhere near close to their environmental targets.

And while farming communities are once again left feeling maligned and anxious about what the future may hold for their businesses, this week Rishi Sunak's Government approved 100 new licenses for oil and gas exploration and production in the North Sea. This is despite the burning of fossil fuels being the largest contributor to climate change. 

As my colleague said this week - it is an interesting paradox.

Meanwhile, the day job continues and as NFU Mutual's latest report shows, the threat of rural crime is never far away, costing just shy of £50 million in 2022.

With organised gangs using more sophisticated techniques to steal farm equipment and capitalise on soaring values in the second-hand kit market, the onus is once again on farmers to increase security. 

Cuts to policing over recent years has seen a major reduction in bobbies on the beat and while a number of forces across the country are boosting rural crime teams in a bid to tackle countryside criminals, a bigger, concerted effort is needed. 

There has been an uptick in Farm Watch/Rural Watch groups and the use of online messaging networks such as Whatsapp groups allow farmers to get an immediate response and receive updates on crimes, as opposed to calling 999 or 101.

One group in Dundee successfully reunited a Range Rover with its owner after a farmer sent a photo of thieves attempting to conceal it in in the corner of one of his fields.

Though not a panacea,  simple techniques and communication like this, alongside a more collaborative approach between police and farming communities should hopefully thwart thieves, and, when incidents do occur, help return assets to their rightful owner.

 

And finally: It was a privilege to be on the panel for the 25th anniversary of NFU Cymru's Wales Woman Farmer of the Year Award. Read more on P4.

TILE SHEDS FARM - Morpeth, Northumberland

TILE SHEDS FARM - Morpeth, Northumberland

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LOW SHIPLEY FARMBARNARD CASTLE, TEESDALE

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NEW HANSON GRANGE, NEWTON GRANGE, ASHBOURNE, DE6 1NN

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