Monday, 13 July 2015

Countryfile in Context

It was good to see Countryfile address the issue of soil sustainability on this week's programme. The health of our soil is the most important factor for our business and environmental sustainability.

The time available on the programme meant that not all issues got coverage, however some clear messages were addressed;
  • cover crops to help with structure 
  • the importance of earthworms
  • erosion
  • reduced cultivations
Filming with Tom Heap

It was an interesting few hours of filming with Tom Heap, numerous camera shots, re takes and sound bites. The audience for Countryfile is wide and varied and as such the programme addresses many, sometimes complex issues.  I have to admire the craft that goes into the final edit, mixing library footage for explanation with 'live footage' which brings our farms and countryside to life.

There were many more areas that could have been covered;
  • rotations
  • cultivation timings
  • controlled traffic
  • organic manures
  • soil's nutrient composition
  • mycorrhizal fungi and other beneficial soil flora and fauna

Cover crops can help our soil, if we can get their management and cost right

The GWCT Allerton Project is always looking to develop and demonstrate practical solutions for growers and farmers. It's collaborations with numerous industry partners in the public, private and charitable sectors gives us a good understanding of the issues surrounding profitable farming and environmental responsibility. If we can address both, to create win wins, then farming and environment becomes much more cohesive.