Members of the Exmoor Society were made extremely welcome by the DPA on the occasion of the societies’ third joint walk on Saturday 19th May. Derek and Bob were knowledgeable and informative guides, while Val was (just like last year) most considerate to those among us who do not manage hills and rough ground as well as our Dartmoor hosts! And everyone else was just so friendly.
On Tuesday 12th June there will be another chance to visit the Mires Project to learn about the latest developments. Frances Cooper from DNPA will lead the trip and it is hoped that scitentists from Exeter University will be in attendance to explain some of the technicalities of the project.
Come and help us to try and get rid of some of this nuisance plant that is becoming an increasing pest on Dartmoor riverbanks.
Himalyan Balsam is one of a small number of "alien plant invaders" wreaking havoc in the British countryside. It was introduced as a garden plant, but swiftly made it's escape and has been very successful at establishing flourishing colonies in the wild, especially in river valleys. As an annual plant, up to 2m high, it smothers native grasses and other plants during the growing season and then leaves the river banks bare in the autumn and winter, increasing the risk of bank erosion.
Natural England appears to be rethinking its long term policy view for the English Uplands according to a recent article that appeared in Farmer's Weekly.
It was only three years ago that Natural England conducted a consultation exercise to formulate its policy for the Uplands. The resulting document, Vital Uplands A Vision for 2060 was published to mixed reactions. Farming opinion in particular criticised its overwhelming focus on environmental matters and production of food appeared to be treated more or less as a byproduct of a process to create diversified upland habitats.
Agra Europe influential blog on CAP.
Take a look at this blog for interesting and informed comment on CAP from Wyn Grant.
Some interesting links summarising the position on CAP Reform and on sustainable farming from the European perspective.
Recent Parliamentary debate (8th March 2012) on CAP reform.
An overview of CAP and the current proposals for reform of support for the period 2014 to 2020.
Can farming be made more intensive and produce more food without detriment to the environment ?