Browsing: Farming

Farmers and consumers across East Devon can take part in the first major review of the UK’s food system for more than half a century. The government has launched a ‘call for evidence’ so that everyone has a chance to shape the way food is produced, sold and consumed. Views shared will inform the country’s biggest review of the food system in almost 75 years. We really need to grasp the nettle and do something radical. The National Food Strategy is an opportunity not to be missed, for our generation and for our children and grandchildren – Prue Leith CBE Led…

The annual Sidmouth Junction ploughing match will take place on Sunday, September 8 – and you are invited. Taking place from 10am, the event will be staged at Fairmile on the Exeter side of the A30. Entries are still being accepted. Attractions will include a ploughing demonstration and a ‘lucky’ programme. Entry is free and on-site catering will be available. For further information, email Phillip Gibbins sjploughing@gmail.com  or call 07779 685858. Family names new Honiton bar after Jim ‘Bruv’ Hagon

After more than 30 years of welcoming people from all over the world, the owners of one of East Devon’s most celebrated farmhouse tearooms are retiring. Julia and David Williams, of Royal Oak Farm in Cotleigh, will finally get the chance to put their feet up next month. Julia and David have spent the last 33 years working seven days a week and baking up to 200 scones a day They will be officially retiring on September 1. New owners are expected to continue the business once they have settled in. Royal Oak Farm is renowned for its traditional farmhouse…

A joint statement has been issued this morning following talks between the NFU and German farming union Deutscher Bauernverband. The meeting, which took place in Berlin yesterday (August 15), saw NFU President Minette Batters hold talks with her German counterpart, Joachim Rukwied, to discuss priority issues for the sector. The farming leaders say free and frictionless trade is ‘crucial’ and that a no deal Brexit must be avoided. The joint statement says: “Our organisations have consistently told our governments in both the UK and Germany that farmers need a political and trading environment that allows them to thrive. “It is…

Groups of farmers and landowners in East Devon are being urged to get together and apply for a share of £2.5 million – made available by the government for the fourth national round of the Countryside Stewardship Facilitation Fund. The application deadline is October 4 and the fund is expected to support around 40 new groups nationally as they deliver large-scale environmental improvements over the next three years. This fund helps support local clusters of farmers to come together to promote similar interventions and options so that the management on each farm helps to complement a wider effort and we…

Farmers in East Devon and the wider South West are well-placed to lead climate-friendly farming revolution in wake of IPCC report, according to Green MEP Molly Scott Cato. The MEP, who sits on the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee, says that farming in the region has huge potential to help tackle the climate crisis. The MEP believes a rapid transition towards organic farming, agro-forestry, ‘rewilding’ and restoring peatlands could ensure that agriculture in the South West becomes an important carbon sink.  The land has an extraordinary capacity to absorb and hold carbon if farmed in a climate-friendly way, and the South…

The NFU says claims that people should reduce their meat intake to help the climate is ‘incredibly frustrating’. It has reiterated that its ambition to become net zero by 2040 will mean no ‘downsizing’ of agricultural production. It has responded to the IPCC’s global report into land use and its impact on the climate. NFU President Minette Batters said: “Having gone through the report in detail, it is clear that the IPCC recognises the important role animal products play in a balanced diet, and when produced sustainably in low greenhouse gas emission systems are actually part of the solution to…

New rose wine and cider tipples from a vineyard at Weston will be available for the public to sample for the first time – at the rescheduled Honiton Gate to Plate. After the disappointment of having to postpone the event due to forecast severe weather, the organisers of the one-day local produce festival have announced it will go ahead on Saturday, September 28. We think Gate to Plate is the perfect opportunity for us to meet lots of new people and spread the word about Honiton’s very own vineyard, and we are really looking forward to it – Heron Farm…

A new survey has revealed high satisfaction levels with South West Water’s decision to help farmers protect the environment. The company’s catchment management project works with the award-winning Upstream Thinking scheme – a partnership between the water company, Devon Wildlife Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Westcountry Rivers Trust, and Exmoor National Park Authority. In total, 94 per cent of surveyed farmers gave the work the thumbs up. The results from this survey clearly illustrate that the project is delivering a personalised approach which is well-received by the farming community – Alex Inman South West Water commissioned the research on behalf of…

Wildfire warnings have been issued after Exmouth firefighters tackled two blazes on Woodbury Common on Saturday afternoon. Firefighters were called to put out two hot spots, started in close proximity, on heathland near Yettington, on August 3. Steve Hunt, watch manager at Exmouth fire station, said the cause of the fires was unknown. The Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust believes the fires were started deliberately and took to social media to publicly express disappointment. Drones, barbecues, fires and camping are activities which pose a significant risk to both protected habitats and public safety.A spokesperson said: “After the end of a brilliant…

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