Tony Juniper Reappointed
Tony Juniper has been reappointed as Chair of Natural England for a second term. Before he took up the post in 2019, he was Director of Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF-UK and President of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. His was a controversial appointment and it has been a critical time for Natural England with significant mistrust by farmers and the introduction of the 25-year Environment Plan and the Environment Act. He will now be Chair until 22nd April 2025.
Oxfordshire Goes Vegan
Oxfordshire County Council has caused uproar by voting to ban all meat and dairy products being served at official events. Green Party Councillor Ian Middleton, a vegan for the past twelve years, put forward the motion which was passed at a full Council meeting before Christmas. It will now be referred to the cabinet for a final decision.
Methane Reducing Pellet
Dairy farmers are being offered a methane-reducing feed supplement free of charge for six months in return for data to show how methane emissions may be reduced. The pellet is produced by a Swiss/British ag-tech company and has been used on a Lancashire farm since 2018. Results from a recent trial on the farm have shown that methane emissions have been cut by 30% and milk yield increased by 2 to 3% with no adverse impact on animal health or milk quality.
Oxford Farming Conference
The Oxford Farming Conference is currently being held, but the decision was taken just before Christmas that it should take place online only rather than in person due to the huge increase in Omicron Covid cases. This follows the earlier decision by the Oxford Real Farming Conference to be held online only. Both run from 5th to 7th January.