Dragonflies Move North
A recent report from the British Dragonfly Society has shown that many species of dragonfly have extended their range, moving northwards as the climate warms. Some originally confined to Southern England are now seen regularly in Scotland. Six new species have also arrived on our shores from southern parts of Europe to escape the heat and the drought, including the southern hawker dragonfly (picture). An increase in wetland habitat has also helped as new ponds, lakes, gravel pits and reservoirs have been created in recent decades.
Badger Cull Extended
This autumn’s badger cull has been extended to three new areas in Hampshire, Berkshire and Worcestershire. In an attempt to reduce the incidence of bovine tuberculosis, marksmen have been tasked to cull between 5,365 and 7,273 in the three new areas. The objective is to reduce the badger population by 70% as recommended after the trials held between 1998 and 2005. In 2019, after four years of culling, the incidence of TB in cattle had been reduced by 66% in Gloucestershire and 37% in Somerset. It is believed that the cull started last week.
Calls for Rent Reductions
With Michaelmas fast approaching, the traditional date for any changes to farm tenancies, the Tenant Farmers Association has called for landowners to consider reducing the rents paid by their tenants. The phasing out of the Basic Payment has a major impact on farm income exacerbated by input costs rising sharply. Red diesel now costs 60 pence per litre compared to 41 ppl last year. The costs of animal feed and fertiliser have also increased significantly, squeezing margins even more.
Back British Farming Day
Yesterday, Wednesday 15th September, was Back British Farming Day. Run by the NFU and now in its sixth year, it was a celebration of British farming and the contribution farmers make by growing food, caring for the countryside and protecting the natural environment for future generations.