The Coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc with the nation’s economy and leisure. Many agricultural shows have already been cancelled and the Game Fair has been put back from July to 18th to 20th September. Meantime fruit and vegetable farmers are very concerned that they will not have staff to pick their crops. There are up to 90,000 jobs available, normally filled by migrant workers from the EU and further afield, but who are not coming due to Brexit and the pandemic. A call has gone out for British workers, especially those laid off due to the virus. If this is war then let’s resurrect the Land Army. So far 10,000 people have answered the call.
BBC Wrong Again
A recent report on BBC Radio 4 highlighted the decline in the population of the native English grey partridge, claiming that there are only 100 left in the UK. It is true that numbers have declined by 90% since the 1960s but the Avian Population Estimates Panel said in February that there are 37,000 breeding pairs across the country. Why cannot the BBC verify its facts before making such ridiculous claims?
Assurance Inspections Suspended
Farm Assurance bodies, Red Tractor, Quality Meat Scotland, Farm Assured Welsh Livestock and the Livestock Meat Commission in Northern Ireland have all suspended physical inspections due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Red Tractor, the country’s largest food standards scheme, conducts about 60,000 inspections across 46,000 ‘assured’ farms each year. It said that it will continue with remote inspections but it is not clear what form they will take.
Meantime farms that suffer a delay in TB testing so that tests are not completed within their allocated testing window will be placed under movement restrictions although no other penalties will apply.
The population of butterflies flourished in the summer of 2019 according to the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. The record temperatures of last summer made it the best season for butterflies for 22 years. More than half of UK species increased in numbers as a combination of warmth, sunshine and rain ensured that caterpillars fed up on lush plants before emerging as adult butterflies.