Rural News

Rural News

Preservation day aims to revive region’s threatened meadows

THEY were once a fixture of every village, and their beauty inspired Shakespeare and Constable. But Britain’s vanishing meadowlands are now the subject of an annual day dedicated to their preservation.

Environment
Julian has been out on the farm testing for bovine TB.

Julian Norton: Disease puts both cattle and vet to the test

I have been TB (tuberculosis) testing cattle this week. It is not something I do very often nowadays. TB testing used to be a regular job for all mixed and farm practices. We were required, and paid, by Defra (the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), to test all the herds looked after by the practice, at an interval that depended upon the incidence of TB in the area.

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The village of Warter

Village focus: Taking to Warter

Once, Yorkshire was a patchwork of estate villages, cosy settlements within bigger tracts of private land. Just last month, one of the last, West Heslerton, near Malton, was sold for £20m to a farming company.

Environment
Sue Woodcock's travels have taken her across various corners of the county this week.

Wolds Diary: Spring creates a perfect backdrop to county adventures

It has been quite a week! On Monday I went over to the charming All Saints Church at Barwick-in-Elmet. I have been there before and looked forward to this visit. As I approached the village, I was thrilled to see a vivid flash of colour as a jay flew across the road and landed in a bush beside the road. They really are the most beautiful of British birds.

Environment
Four-year-old Henry Hall exercises his texel cross sheep at last year's Otley Show

David Behrens: Visiting agricultural shows is an education in realities of life

THEY understood, during the Second World War, what many today seem to have forgotten, or choose to ignore: the importance of farming, not just to the economy and the landscape, but to all of our lives. Without farmers, the rest of us don’t eat.

Opinion 1
Many Yorkshire growers have turned away from sugar beet since the closure of British Sugar's factory in York.

Proposals for new sugar plant in North Yorkshire

Early planning documents have been submitted for the construction of a huge new “state-of-the-art” sugar beet processing plant in North Yorkshire.

News 1
From left, Duncan Pullar, Charles Rook and Robert Rook of Weighton Wold farm with their Stabiliser herd. Picture by Gary Longbottom.

Farm of the Week: Stabiliser the cow of choice for Robert Rook

No matter how many agricultural shows you attend from now until September, there’s one breed of cattle that will not be at any of them.

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Gemma McNeil and mum Kate breed and show British Blonde cattle and are preparing to go head to head again at the Otley Show. Picture by Scott Merrylees.

Family rivalry to resume at Otley Show

Brushes, combs, hair dryers, sweet smelling sprays and powders will all be back out in fragrant force next Saturday as cattle, sheep, horses and other animals are titivated towards success at Otley - Yorkshire’s summer agricultural show season curtain raiser.

News
Pat Foxton, chairman of Malton & Ryedale Farmers Livestock Marketing. Picture by Gary Longbottom.

Date set for summit on Malton market’s future move

One of the longest running sagas in the farming world has been the future of Malton’s livestock market. More than a decade ago there was a campaign launched to stop it from closing on the basis that the 50-year lease from the Fitzwilliam Malton Estate being up two years later in 2008 would bring about its demise.

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The Yorkshire Vet, Julian Norton, from Skeldale Veterinary Centre, pictured with his three year old Jack Russell, called Emmy. Picture by James Hardisty.

Julian Norton: A new remedy for an old problem

Dave, the yellow Labrador, limped into my consulting room one afternoon this week. His problem was clear to see, since he couldn’t put his right front foot to the ground.

News
Living the Dream: Patience needed to tame the llamas

Living the Dream: Patience needed to tame the llamas

Well, the teashop continues to be so busy that they’ve had to call in reinforcements. Only for washing up duties and other such unskilled labour, but you know me, I’m always willing to do my bit. One thing that was really nice to see too this week was when we had visitors come for lunch, but these weren’t locals, they were over from the US and after doing London, they wanted to experience some good old Yorkshire hospitality.

News
Sue Woodcock's travels have taken her across various corners of the county this week.

Wolds Diary: Cross county trips to raise a smile

On Bank Holiday Monday I went over to Grassington, to see a friend there. He was widowed last year and my visit would present him with helping hand to clear his loft. Having loaded up the car we than went for pub lunch and then I headed home, which took longer than the journey there because the world and his wife seemed to be visiting the Dales.

Environment
Tom Bayston farms near Goole and is NFU Council delegate for the West Riding.

Tom Bayston: Seize election time to get politicians onto farms

Whether or not you are suffering from election and/or referendum fatigue, there is no denying that the forthcoming General Election provides all of us in the farming community with a great opportunity to build or reinforce our relationships with MPs throughout Yorkshire.

News
A turtle dove, photographed by Michael Flowers.

Birdwatch: Return of the turtle dove

The gentle purring song of the turtle dove is being heard in Yorkshire again as it returns from spending the winter in the Sahel region of Africa.

Environment
Picture by Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Morrisons and Arla agree new milk deal

Morrisons has agreed a new three-year contract starting in March 2018 that will mean its own-brand liquid milk is provided by Arla Foods.

News
The effect of neonicotinoid pesticides on pollinators has become a political issue in the run up to the General Election, with the Labour Party committed to an outright ban if elected; the NFU says there is a lack of compelling evidence to support a ban. Picture by Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Rothamsted raises crop fears over proposed pesticides ban

Scientists have warned that maintaining production of many UK crops is at risk if neonicotinoids, the pesticides linked with harming bees, are more widely restricted or banned completely.

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Davina Lovegreen on the farm near Catterick. Pictures by James Hardisty.

Farm of the Week: How catering proved to be the Lovegreens’ salvation

Painting a hotel in Bridlington may not sound like something a farmer would normally do but for David Lovegreen of Prospect Farm near Catterick where he has cattle, sheep and pigs and his wife Davina runs a successful catering business, it was a case of needs must 16 years ago.

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Professor Ian Rotherham is keen to encourage more people to take an interest in re-wilding parts of the countryside to promote biodiversity. Picture by Scott Merrylees.

Sheffield date to re-engage communities with precious woods

Loving couples meandering aimlessly arm in arm through meadows and woodland in the sun, listening to birds, watching butterflies flutter and bees going about their work. It’s a country idyll that provides its own romance and there are moves afoot to ensure more is available for all of us.

Environment

Yorkshire’s driest winter for decades prompts water and fire warnings

A countrywide plea for people to make careful use of tap water has been issued by the Environment Agency, following the driest winter period in 20 years.

Environment
Andy Trezise with his vintage Ferguson T E F tractor at the Yorkshire Museum of Farming at Murton Park near York.

Classic Fergies head up new tractor rally at Yorkshire museum

The Little Grey Fergie is perhaps the most iconic of all vintage tractors and one that the country calendar phenomena of the past 20 years – the tractor run – just would not be the same without.

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