Farming Today

Grouse shooting ban; robotic harvesting; the Northern Forest; Scottish tenancy laws.

Farming Today

Bradford Council has banned grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor - sparking claims from shooting groups that the move will threaten local wildlife and end up costing the taxpayer. The Labour Council voted not to renew a ten-year lease granted to the Bingley Moor Partnership that expires in April, which had allowed the partnership to shoot on the moor during grouse season. The original decision to grant the lease a decade ago had proved controversial, with some claiming the shoots had a negative impact on wildlife and tourism in the area. It's provoked strong feeling on both sides. Caz Graham speaks to Gareth Doherty from the British Association for Shooting and Conservation and Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council's Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, to get their perspectives. We're looking at farm machinery in our programmes this week, and nowadays there's a lot more to it than just tractors pulling ploughs. It's cutting edge stuff - and robotics is being trialled in many areas of agriculture, from targeting weeds to harvesting, in a bid to ensure more efficient food production. This research is prompting speculation about how robots might change the face of farming as we know it. The UK fruit and vegetable sector is heavily reliant on skilled, predominantly migrant, workers to handle jobs such as picking and pruning; but could that change once machines can handle delicate tasks like these? Laura and Rick Holt grow tomatoes on the vine for major supermarkets, in huge LED-lit greenhouses. Lucy Taylor visited their site in Evesham, to find out about the role machinery plays in the operation. The BBC's Environment Analyst Roger Harrabin has been Tweeting about the government's plans for a new 'Northern Forest': five-hundred-million trees to be planted in a wide belt across the country, from Liverpool to Hull. "Can we get another name for the Northern Forest?" he asks. "That's a marketing slogan. It's not a forest - just a small increase in woodlands near cities." Well, Roger's followers have risen to the challenge and some very creative suggestions are now flying around the Twittersphere. Among our favourites are The Accrington Arboretum, from Ray Georgeson; Gove's Grove, from someone called Burgh; and the Great Northern Spinney, courtesy of Adam Roscoe. If you think you could do better, do get in touch with us either via twitter - @bbcfarmingtoday - or on email: we're on farming-dot-today@bbc.co.uk. 'Change' is the buzz-word in farming at the moment, as the industry moves towards a new 'Agricultural Revolution' after we leave the EU. But of course not all change is about Brexit, there are other significant developments taking place in UK farming as well: in Scotland, changes in the legislation surrounding secure, so-called '91 Act tenancies have opened up opportunities for a range of young farmers who would previously have been excluded from inheriting tenancies. One of the first to take advantage of the new rules is Ewan McConchie from near Nairn in the Highlands. Nancy Nicolson met him and his Uncle George among the livestock.

Next Episodes



Farming Today

Machinery, Stilton, BBC Food & Farming Awards @ Farming Today

📆 2018-01-15 07:00 / 00:11:37


Farming Today

Farming Today This Week: Livestock in winter @ Farming Today

📆 2018-01-13 08:00 / 00:24:53