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Farm, Food & Countryside magazine

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  • farm,food&countrysideFREEPlease take me

    good reasons toeat British food10

    Bio-diverse Britain

    The farmers year including poster pullout!

  • Contents10 good reasonsto eat British food 2

    Great reasonsto visit the countryside 4

    The creation of ourcountryside 6

    Bio-diverse Britain 8

    Why Farming Matters tothe environment 10

    The farmers year including poster pullout! 11

    Why Farming Matters tothe economy 15

    Buy local, buy seasonal,buy British 16

    Great British recipes 17

    Where does yourSunday lunch come from? 18

    Farming timeline 20

    Flower power! 22

    The appliance of science 24

    About this booklet 25

    The NFU champions British farming and providesprofessional representation and services to its farmerand grower members.

    More information at: www.nfuonline.com

  • FARM, FOOD & COUNTRYSIDE 1

    ForewordEveryone loves the great British countryside and for lots of different reasons. Somepeople like to spend their weekends in the fresh air and others want to enjoy wonderfulBritish food.

    Farming is at the core of both these essential ingredients of life. Farmers care for theBritish countryside and grow or rear the produce that ends up on our dinner tables.Farming will also become more important with the increasing demands of climatechange and population growth.

    We also know that people have a genuine interest in what we do as farmers and somestrong opinions about it. Thats why we have reprinted this booklet to give an insightinto farming and answer some of the questions you might have about what we do.

    Peter KendallNFU President

  • FARM, FOOD & COUNTRYSIDE2

    You will be supportingsmall family businesses80% of farms are run by familybusinesses with modest turnovers. InBritain we have lost nearly half of thesefamily farms in the past 40 years. Bysupporting British farmers with yourcustom you will be doing your bit toreverse this regrettable decline.

    You will be supportingyour local rural economyAgricultural businesses are key parts ofthe local rural economy. Its not just thefarmers and farm workers who benefitfrom your custom, but all those whobenefit from a healthy agriculturalsector. From those who work in foodprocessing, to the teacher who teachesfarm children at the local village school,everyone receives benefits from keepingfarmers in business.

    good reasons toeat British food10

    You will cut down onyour food milesThe transportation of food clutters ourroads and airways. This uses up fuel andleads to increased pollution. By sourcingyour food locally you can help minimisethe problems food miles generate.

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    4 5

    You will be buying asafe, traceable productFood from British farms is producedto very high standards of safety andwholesomeness. The process isregulated and checked from fieldto plate to ensure you have a mealyou can enjoy and trust.

    2

    3 You will be supporting somegreat British traditionsFrom English strawberries to Scotchwhisky, from Welsh lamb to Cornishclotted cream. British food made fromingredients from British farms representsthe best of British culture. Where wouldwe be as a nation without our Cheddarcheese and our real ale?

  • FARM, FOOD & COUNTRYSIDE 3

    And the tenth good reasonto buy British farm produce?...oh yes, it tastes good. Very, very good.

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    10

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    The farmer givesyou good valueOut of an average basket of foodcosting 37 the farmer receives just 13.

    9

    Shop local, shop BritishTry shopping at a farm shop or afarmers market. This is the best way toget close to the point of production. Itsthe best way to ensure the produce isfresh. You might even get to meet thefarmer who grew the produce.

    8

    You will be encouraging highanimal welfare standardsBritish farmers have some of the highestanimal welfare standards in the world.There are more commercial free rangehens in the UK than anywhere else inEurope. UK pig farmers do not usetethers and stalls, in contrast to theirforeign competitors. Beef farmers donot use veal crates, beef lot systems,or hormones found abroad.

    Eat the viewBy buying British farm produce you areeating the view. British farmers maintainthe beautiful British landscape. Bykeeping them in business you arehelping maintain that countryside.

  • FARM, FOOD & COUNTRYSIDE4

    Great reasons to visEnjoy the viewFrom the South Downs to the NorthYork Moors, from the flat fens to theundulating dales, the British countrysideoffers a range of views that no artgallery could match. Get your bootson and get viewing.

    Immerse yourself in natureBritain boasts an inspiring bio-diversity.Whether its the scent of wild flowers,the spectacle of birds on the wing, thebuzz of a busy bee or the warm breezeon your face, the British countryside hasit all to offer.

    Fresh air and healthThe first thing to do in the countryside isto fill your lungs with fresh air. The air inthe countryside is significantly cleanerthan the air in the city. It has beensuggested that people who live in thecountryside have a longer life expectancythan those who live in the towns.

    Access and spaceBritain has one of the most comprehensivefootpath networks in the world. Withover 188,700km public rights of way inEngland you will never be short of a newwalk. And if you are in need of someexercise, why have an expensive workoutwhen you can have a free walk out?

    Its the most popularphysical activity you can dowith your clothes on. Sayhello to the great outdoors.

    Stay on a farm or pay a visitThere are over 1200 Farm Stay registeredproperties to stay at where you can enjoyfarm life first hand. Whether its bed andbreakfast, full board or self catering, therewill be something to fulfill your needs atwww.farmstayuk.co.uk. With over 500open farms and farm attractions, Britaincan offer all manner of agricultural daysout. Pet a lamb, ride a pony, watch a cowbeing milked all right on your doorstep.

  • FARM, FOOD & COUNTRYSIDE 5

    it the countrysideand while youre in the countrysidedont forget the Countryside Code

    The thing I enjoy about the countrysidethe most is the peace, quietness, space,fresh air... scenery. Its really beautiful.

    Be safe plan ahead andfollow any signsEven when going out locally, its bestto get the latest information aboutwhere and when you can go (forexample, your rights to go onto someareas of open land may be restrictedwhile work is carried out, for safetyreasons or during breeding seasons).Follow advice and local signs, and beprepared for the unexpected.

    Leave gates and propertyas you find themPlease respect the working life ofthe countryside, as our actions canaffect peoples livelihoods, our heritage,and the safety and welfare of animalsand ourselves.

    Protect plants and animals,and take your litter homeWe have a responsibility to protect ourcountryside now and for futuregenerations, so make sure you dontharm animals, birds, plants or trees.

    Keep dogs underclose controlThe countryside is a great place toexercise dogs, but it is every owners dutyto make sure their dog is not a danger ornuisance to farm animals, wildlife orother people.

    Consider other peopleShowing consideration and respect forother people makes the countryside apleasant environment for everyone athome, at work and at leisure.

  • FARM, FOOD & COUNTRYSIDE6

    The meadowand the marginGrazing livestock are hugely important tothe ecology and environment of the hills,upland and other grassland areas.Grazing cattle and sheep allow differentflora and fauna to flourish and marginsat the edges of fields allow other wildlifespecies to thrive. In 2009 there weresix million hectares of farmland inagri-environment schemes where thefarmer manages the land to encouragethis biodiversity.

    The farm trackTwo hundred years ago the countrysidewas criss-crossed by a cob-web of carttracks and droves used for herding farm-stock from field to field. Many of thoseold routes remain and are still used andmaintained by farmers as they go abouttheir work. Often public footpaths runalong these tracks and today there arearound 188,700km of public rights ofway in England.

    The hedgeBritain has one of the most denselyhedged farmscapes in the world (inupland areas the hedges place is takenby the stone wall). Since 1987, agri-environment schemes have helped torestore more than 17,000km ofhedgerow. The good news is that birdspecies that nest in hedges, such asblackcap, whitethroat, long-tailed tit,chaffinch, greenfinch, goldfinch anddunnock have all shown increases overthe past 10-15 years.

    The creation of ourWe tend to take many of thefeatures of our countrysidefor granted, assuming they arenaturally occurring.

    We forget it is largely a workedcountryside rather than a naturalone and that farmers manage andmaintain 75% of it.

    At the same time as producinghealthy, nutritious food, farmerstake their roles as countrysidemanagers very seriously. Here aresome key environmental featuresto look out for next time you visita farm

  • FARM, FOOD & COUNTRYSIDE 7

    The pondFarm ponds were traditionally created byfarmers to provide water for stock. Inrecent times farmers have dug small lakescalled reservoirs to collect winter rainfallwhich is used to irrigate crops in thesummer. The number of ponds in GreatBritain increased by 11.1% between1998 and 2007 to an estimated total of487,000. They provide habitats for arange of species such as ducks and frogs.

    The copseThe copse or spinney is a small group oftrees and shrubs. Since 1990, farmershave planted over 90 million trees.Copses act to break up the opencountryside and provide stopping offpoints for species such as deer.

    The ditchDitches, or dykes, are small watercoursesaround fields tha

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