Last year saw a record-breaking count, 140 species of farmland birds over 1 million acres. But there are still many farmers and land managers who have yet to get involved.
3 reasons to make 2020 the year of your first Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC):
1. You might learn something about your farm You know your farm better than anyone. You know your crop rotations, your livestock movements, your wet and dry fields. But what do you know about the wildlife on your farm? If you have never set time aside to consider this, the BFBC is the perfect opportunity. 30 minutes to look at your farm from a different perspective might help you to appreciate both the pleasure of being a custodian of our countryside, and the business opportunities of paid-for environmental management.
2. Results us to champion the great work farmers do in caring for the environment CFE partners such as the NFU and GWCT use data on the great work you do to promote farmers’ interests with government and the public. The more data we have to make the case for support for farmers, the stronger this case will be. The information gathered by the BFBC is a unique snapshot of bird populations on farmland which adds another tool to the toolbox for championing the farmed environment and you, the farmers who care for it.
3. You might enjoy it! The mental-health benefits of taking time out to appreciate the natural world are well documented. Add to this the sense of pride you can take in creating and caring for farmland bird habitat and those 30 minutes in a busy week will be time invested, not time wasted. You are your farm’s most valuable asset; think of the BFBC as a ‘maintenance period’ for yourself.
Don’t be put off by the thought that you might not recognise some bird species. You probably know more than you think (robin, starling, goldfinch…) and GWCT have a handy guide for some of the trickier ones. If in doubt, take a camera with you. Take a snap of any you’re not sure of and look them up. The RSPB ‘identify a bird’ tool will whittle down the options by size, colour, beak etc.
You can register, download your guide and count sheet and send in your sightings at www.bfbc.org.uk. There are even some prizes up for grabs, so don’t forget to submit your results.
It’s been a year since I moved to Golberdon, and I can honestly say I’ve loved my time here so far!
The village is so friendly and helpful, my neighbours are always wonderful. I’ve had a bank card drop back into me that my boiler engineer dropped on the street…. I’ve had Dick helping to try and jump start my truck when it wouldn’t start… I’ve traded eggs for a bag of kindling, rhubarb for recycling bins and another neighbour “stealth dropped” some wonderful tomatoes on my doorstep!
I’ve not had to take anything I no longer need to the tip – I’ve rehomed a table, a mirror, shelving units and numerous other bits and bobs by dropping them to the free corner, and also acquired some gems too – a great little shelf unit, a fabulous casserole dish to name just a few!
Business and farming wise, it’s been an amazing year too. I lambed for the first time ever this year, by myself (remember the freeze in April? I camped at the field and my tent was like an igloo one morning when I woke up with ice burns on my eye lids!).
I only have 2 ewes and borrowed a tup back in November. He did a proper job, and we were rewarded with 4 marvellous lambs (Branok, Bryan, Brea, and Beryan) to add to our fibre production crew at Tregaver – 3 boys, now castrated, and a ewe lamb which will be bred when she’s of age.
I also bought 2 valais x lleyn lambs (Byghan and Ballow) a few months ago – their fibre is superb, perfect little locks which are much softer than pure valais black nose!
And one of the most exciting things… We finally have goats at Tregaver, making it a genuine “place of the goats”. We welcomed 5 gorgeous angoras from Devon. So we’ve now got a Boudicca, Barvus, Bolitho, Barthek and Baya.
As you can see, all of our livestock have Cornish or Celtic names – Bolitho is my family name back to 1611!
So here’s to another year in Golberdon, and here’s hoping our fibre business continues to grow!
Caroline Rimmer https://etsy.me/2nC60Vk
100 years of the NFU Key events and legislation 1908 -2008
1911 Protection of Animals Act
1912 Milk and Dairies Act
1914- 1918 First World War
1920 Agriculture Act Continue reading
2018 – 100 years since the end of the First World War
In 2014, the NFU marked the centenary of the start of the First World War by commissioning a report – The Few That Fed The Many – which investigated the impact that the Great War had on British farming families, read it here.
By the outbreak of the First World War on 4 August 1914, Britain was 60 percent reliant on imports for food supplies and other commodities such as fuel and fertilisers, there was only enough wheat to last for 125 days. Government was importing around 78 per cent of wheat and flour along with 40 percent of meat, this should have prompted a change in attitude towards food security as Britain was not in a position to be able to feed itself.
German U-Boats cut off trade routes, and the government turned to our farmers to feed the nation during this time of crisis.
Almost a third of male farm workers had gone to war, more than 170,000 farmers fought in the trenches along with mechanics and blacksmiths, half a million farm horses had been requisitioned by the War Office to help at the front line. Machinery was limited and experts scarce to maintain and fix, plus fertilisers and feed were in short supply. Continue reading
My name is Caroline, I’ve recently moved to Golberdon with my dog Eliza. I’ve achieved a dream by buying some land in Latchley, much neglected for many years, my priority is to improve the ground. I’ve worked with goats, and intend to get some Angoras in the near future, but for now I’ve decided one of the ways to begin land recovery, was to get some sheep to graze! I’ve worked with sheep before, and when I started to look into breeds, I just fell in love with the fleeces of UK rare breeds, and settled on a small flock of pedigree Teeswater sheep and I’m now venturing into wool production.
I intend to sell my wool fibre for carding, spinning, felting, and any other crafting hobbies, either as raw locks or hand washed and dyed. Continue reading
The hot weather is also a great excuse to eat more ice cream to stay cool!
Do you prefer a cone or tub, single or double scoop, sauce or no sauce? Whichever way you choose to eat your cool treat this summer, be sure to back British farming. Supporting the industry has never been more important, so what better way than to treat yourself than with a scoop of British dairy ice cream on a warm summer’s day!
Here are some local producers, many encourage site visits, so why not go explore them.
The summer holidays provide the perfect time to get out and about in your local area. You and your friends and family will be amazed by what you can find just a few steps from home. The British countryside is a working landscape of grazing livestock, growing crops and fruiting trees – it is where our food is produced. Filled with expansive green spaces, extensive woodland, water streams and rolling hills, the great outdoors is a giant adventure playground waiting to be explored.
To be in with a chance of winning £100 from Joules, download your free ‘Countryside Safari’ activity sheet and find out more about how British farmers protect wildlife and habitats on their farms, care for their animals and produce the food on our plates. Don’t forget to stay safe though, and follow the countryside code. > Activity sheet here https://www.countrysideonline.co.uk/assets/108870
Tamar Grow Local is 10 years old in 2017 Help them celebrate at some of the following events in October!
Wed 4th October – Honey Fair, Callington Come along to see live honey extraction demonstrations and enjoy a slice of honey cake. There’ll be honey on sale, details of bee-keeping courses and bee-keeping sundries for sale.
Thursday 5th October – Heralds of Spring Daffodil Conference, Tamar Valley Centre celebrating the 2017 Heritage Lottery funded daffodil project focusing on observation and identification of Tamar Valley daffodils. Share findings, hear daffodil experts, listen to oral histories and buy bulbs for the coming season. Free tickets available here
Thursday 5th October – Food & Farming Pub Quiz, The Carpenters Arms, Metherell Get your team together for the TGL quiz which is everything food, farming and the Tamar Valley. Swat up on your vegetables, plants, animals and current affairs to become our winning team! To book a place, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01579) 208412 £2 per person with funds donated to the Grow, Share, Cook project.
Friday 6th October –Tamar Grow Local 10 year celebration, Tamar Valley Centre Join us for a day of talks and discussion from inspiring food projects and funders from across the UK. Speakers from Real Farming Trust, Plymouth City Council, Open Food Network UK and Tamar Grow Local and learning how these groups are working towards building a more sustainable food economy. Theere’s also a market gardening exhibition and a mini farmers market so you can stock up on goodies. Full details and tickets available here
The day is ticketed on a contribution scheme so please leave the free tickets for those who may not be able to meet the cost of attending. This event is not-for-profit, TGL are looking to meet the costs of providing lunch and speaker travel expenses. For further details, visit the website at www.tamargrowlocal.org
Saturday 7th October – Apple & Chilli Festival, Apple Pressing. Carpenters Arms, Metherell, 10am – 4pm Our monthly Brunch & Produce Market turns into a celebration of apples, chillies and Autumn produce in October. Bring your apples for pressing for a donation, Music from Robin Roper and over 25 varieties of chillies to try and buy!
Saturday 7th October – Foraging Walk, 2pm A circular walk introducing wild food foraging, identification of edible plants & how to create your own hedgerow salads. 2pm, £9, Meet at the Carpenters Arms. To book, please contact email@example.com
Check out the TGL sowing guide here http://www.tamargrowlocal.org/sites/default/files/vegetable-planting-planner.pdf
The 80th annual Young Farmers Clubs County Rally Organised by Cornwall county chairman Cat Ede, took place on Saturday, July 22nd at Meaders Farm, hosted by the Ede and Gorman families.
The rally brings together all the county clubs for a day of fun activities competing against each other in various competitions from cookery, handicrafts to sports & practical skills.
‘how many people can you cram into the middle of a tractor tyre’, the ‘greasy pole’ competition, and build a lawn mower suitable for a tractor pull.
Cornwall Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (CFYFC) is the largest rural youth organisation in the county. Continue reading