The march of rewilding is felt on the moorland above the farm on the M62

I’ve not seen very much of Paul recently

Changing the habitat could threaten moorland birds
Changing the habitat could threaten moorland birds

A brief exchange in the kitchen or cheery wave as we pass one another on the drive, both flying around trying to organise our days.

Long hours are spent on the road for Paul, endless electric fencing and sheep being moved from one grazing ground to another.

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We don’t even seem to have any downtime in front of the TV arguing about which channel we’re watching.

The majority of programmes are banned in our household. Despite Paul’s obsession with the weather, he flatly refuses to watch Countryfile, not even just for the forecast.

The BBC is a swear word in our house, such is their appalling anti-farming agenda. It makes Paul ill with rage to see his life’s work belittled, condemned and vilified. I’m glad John-William is usually too engrossed in his Nerf guns or dart board to be able to fully absorb his father’s words of frustration.

It’s hard for him to understand the wave of hatred directed towards agriculture or ‘fharmers’ as we are now known. Our farm, of course, will not be exempt from the current rewilding agenda.

Great swathes of moorland have been earmarked for tree planting, areas that up until recently have been extensively re-wetted, with us working hard towards improving moorland diversity and habitat for ground-nesting birds.

It seems beyond absurd that these areas we’ve tried so hard to improve could soon be lost to mile upon mile of plastic tree guards, pushing our beloved moorland birds ever closer to extinction.

I wonder who it is that comes up with these schemes. No diversity, just eradication of one ecosystem to replace it with another one.

Whilst we do our best to halt the oncoming surge of blanket planting, I’ve watched with growing sadness and unease at the speed of viable farmland in Wales being bought by overseas corporations in a pathetic attempt to offset their mind-bogglingly huge carbon emissions.

Are people so naive as to think this reckless behaviour will not have a devastating impact on our food security? It is fast becoming a desperate situation not just for Welsh farmers, but for our own here.

With well-known pop stars also jumping on the proverbial bandwagon and using their wealth to buy into this new fad, schools going meat and dairy free, I wonder how our landscape will look when John-William is a man.

Farming and working the land is etched into Paul’s very being, his soul. He knows nothing else and will steadfastly tend to his animals and the land until his last breath. I doubt these rewilding experts will show such passion and dedication to the land they claim they know so well.

As Paul pointed out with his typically dry, Yorkshire sense of humour, hopefully when the wolves and the bison arrive, we’ll have less bother with free-ranging dog walkers.

Every cloud has a silver lining and all that!