Beyond the fact that the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) will be phased out and farmers will be rewarded for delivering public goods, the details on how the UK’s future agricultural policy will actually operate are thin on the ground. This uncertainty is, understandably, causing concern in both the farming and conservation communities. With over 70% of the UK’s land area being devoted to agriculture, it is impossible to divorce farming from biodiversity conservation. However you voted, Brexit provides an opportunity to update our land-management policies and adapt them to better mitigate climate change and ecological collapse. Agri-environment schemes (AES) under…


Date: May 26th 2020

I write this with a goose on my lap. A gander more specifically, as ‘goose’ refers to the female of the species. I have four geese, and think them wonderful. Their brazen malice towards anyone and everything is hilarious, and provides a much-needed lesson in humility for our species. When people first hear of my geese they usually recount traumatic childhood memories of being chased or bitten by an ornery member of the species (There’s a reason pinching someone on the bum is called “goosing” them) Popular opinion of the species tends towards the negative, running…


While over recent days there has been a heartening outpouring of online and in-person support for the Black Lives Matter movement, I’ve also noticed a disturbing silence from other white farmers and food organisations. The silence from the sustainable or regenerative agriculture community is particularly worrisome. The regenerative farming movement has never attempted to be an apolitical space. We are a community that claims to be committed to ethical and progressive practices in many areas, so it seems particularly egregious that many are not extending that concern and activism to issues of race and social justice.

To be fair, social…


Eating sustainably and ethically in today’s food system can seem like an impossible task. Our food system is complex and globalized, and our supply chains opaque. Food labels can provide inadequate, or potentially misleading information, while media messaging can encourage us to adopt certain practices, before turning us away from them months later. While it can be tempting to seek a single solution to eating more sustainably, the reality is that solutions are likely to be as complex as the problem in question; in this case, very complicated indeed¹ Nevertheless, as a species of obligate eaters, we can’t ignore the…


The agricultural sector has spent the past few years in the media as Public Enemy Number 1, diverting attention from the (almost certainly grateful) transport industry. However, like the transport industry, agriculture isn’t going anywhere, and the associated issues will only increase along with the global population. Attempts to understand and find solutions to the issue tend to involve the same cast of characters, most notably the meat industry, and greenhouse gases (GHGs). Presented with GHGs as the core issue of food and farming, the task then becomes how to “solve” it, with responses ranging from adopting a vegan diet…


Since the decision to leave the European Union in 2016, the topic of food security has been lost in the subsequent storm of media coverage, overlooked in favour of more attention-grabbing headlines. However, the quiet surrounding the topic shouldn’t be taken to mean that it is less worthy of our concern. On the contrary, food security and food production are some of the most uncertain and precarious issues we face once we leave the EU.

70% of the food the UK imports comes from within the EU, and the EU in turn is the destination of 60% of Britain’s agricultural…

FarmWheeler

Farmer and biodiversity conservation grad

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