Modern farming: “productively brilliant” but “ecologically disastrous”

“A massive shift is needed to take us from the post-WW2 cheaper-food-at-all-costs production model to something more sustainable.”

.

The two ends of England have quite a lot in common:

Whether it’s the moors:

Futures Forum: The Commons: ‘it’s very much now’ in Cumbria and Exmoor

Or the traditional small pastoral farms:

Sheep farming in Cumbria – Vision Group for Sidmouth

.

One of the clearest voices coming out of Cumbria is challenging us about how we farm the land:

“A massive shift is needed to take us from the post-WW2 cheaper-food-at-all-costs production model to something more sustainable.”

Transitioning to sustainable farming – Vision Group for Sidmouth

.

James Rebanks has a new book out:

The world of farming has changed beyond recognition in the forty years since James Rebanks sat behind his grandfather on a tractor, surrounded by scavenging black-headed gulls, “a boy living through the last days of an ancient farming world”. That world is now a distant memory, “replaced by an industrial farming system which in its scale, speed and power is quite unlike anything that preceded it”. Too bad that while “productively brilliant” it has also been “ecologically disastrous”. English Pastoral is a first-hand account of those years on the small Lake District farm managed first by Rebanks’s grandfather, then his father, and finally by Rebanks himself. It charts the relentless intensification of farming – driven by an unstoppable clamour for cheap food – and the devastating effect it has had on the natural world, all seen through the lens of a traditional mixed, rotational English farm.

In Brief: English Pastoral by James Rebanks book review | The TLS

English Pastoral by James Rebanks review – how to look after the land | Science and nature books | The Guardian

.

It’s Book of the Week:

BBC Radio 4 – English Pastoral by James Rebanks

.

photo: File: Ambleside & Waterhead Panorama 2, Cumbria, England – Oct 2009.jpg – Wikimedia Commons

   
© Vision Group for Sidmouth 2005-2022