Something for the weekend sir?

I love farmers.  Well, admittedly not all of them, but then I don’t love all birdwatchers, all RSPB members or all of anything – maybe all hen harriers?

But I do love the fact that some farmers are doing a fantastic job with the help of my taxpayer’s money on their farms.

We have come to the time of year when you and I, the public, get to vote for which of the four short-listed farmers should win the coveted prize of the largest competition to find the most environmentally friendly farmer in the UK.  I speak of the Nature of Farming awards.  So far, there has not been an English winner – the Celts have taken the prize every time (and good for them!).

Maybe this will be the first year that an English farmer wins?  And this year is the first with the sponsorship of the Daily Telegraph.  And this year is the first year when I can be open and say who I think should win.

My vote (which itself might win me a luxury break for two – but would anyone come with me?) has gone to Robert Law who is a really nice guy, with a really nice farm and he’s a real laugh.  Rob is a big guy, a bit like me, and when I see him in a room, at an event, I always seek him out for a chat.  Rob organises  quite a lot of meetings for farmers and it’s clear that he keeps me in mind as a speaker as I often get the call from him.  I have really enjoyed talking, a few times, to a group of farmers who farm around the area where Rob farms.

If you pay, or have paid, your taxes then some of your money goes to farmers as Single Farm Payments – to the good farmers and the bad farmers.  I wish the good farmers like Rob got a larger share.  And in the Nature of Farming Awards you do get the chance to decide who gets the money – it’s just that this time all four finalists are fully deserving.

The Nature of Farming Award is a joint enterprise by the RSPB, the Daily Telegraph, Plantlife and Butterfly Conservation.


2 Replies to “Something for the weekend sir?”

  1. An RSPB staff member told me very few farmers join the scheme to encourage wildlife. It is all about money. It sounds like less than 5% actually care about the wildlife and as you say, it is a shame these few can not be paid more.

  2. Just quickly say plenty of good farmers provide food for people who enjoy kicking them even if they are not that wildlife friendly.Reliable survey produced the following result 3 times as many people considered first priority of land to produce food as opposed to the number of those whose priority was wildlife.I manage to see both sides but many don’t.
    How about giving publicity to the fact that actually Ryegrass although castigated by all and sundry conservationists as rubbish actually is a very good winter feed for farmland birds if a small area is left to stand and seed after silageing.Amazing how so many can be so wrong for so long(me included but then I have never claimed to be one of the clever ones).

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