30 August 2018

Old skills help bring back birds and bees

RETURNING TO STRIP FARMING METHODS HAS LED TO A DRAMATIC INCREASE IN WILDLIFE DIVERSITY WITHOUT REDUCING PROFIT MARGINS, reports the Times.  The National Trust restored 111 acres of farmland in south Wales to the traditional layout removed after WW2.  Instead of just six fields there are now 17 with a rotated planting of crops.  The Trust said that the success of the scheme was an example of the farming methods that should be supported by the government post-Brexit.  While it was not possible to compare total yields because of the different crop grown, the Trust believes that the reduction in fertilisers and other chemicals has resulted in similar profit margins.   Two years after the project started, the stretch of coastline boasts a stunning array of rare birds, 21 varieties of butterfly and 10 species of bumblebee have been spotted.  The number of wildflower species recorded has increased from 76 to 99.