NOT ONLY will next week’s Springtime on the Farm series on Channel 5 be compulsive viewing for countryside devotees, and all those who liked acclaimed programmes from All Creatures Great and Small to The Yorkshire Vet, but it should be mandatory for Environment Secretary Michael Gove and every Minister who holds a skills brief.
Why? Hopefully the fly-on-the-wall series, which is to be filmed at Cannon Hall Farm near Barnsley and be presented by TV’s Adam Henson of Countryfile fame, will shed light on the work undertaken by farmers, its importance to food production and the rewards that can, in fact, accrued from this hard toil.
Perhaps Mr Gove will look again at the Government’s reluctance to introduce a GCSE in Agriculture. Rural Skills might be a more appropriate subject title. For, unless more youngsters regard the countryside as a valued and valid career choice, farming – and food sustainability – will both suffer markedly as a result.