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Letter From The Farm | Winterage In The Burren

We’re back on Shane Casey’s farm in the Burren, Ireland. It’s nearly time for the reverse transhumance drive – or ‘winterage’ as it’s known locally. Grazing over the winter allows the Burren’s unique mix of flora to thrive. It’s a quintessential example of farming for conservation, explains Shane. […]

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Romania | Making Hay In Transylvania

In Transylvania’s hay meadows people continue to farm in harmony with nature. Determined to capture the traditional skill of scything on camera, photographer Paul White found out he would have to get up very early in the morning. Here he documents the hard work involved in a traditional haymaking process that is clean, sustainable and yields enormous benefits for biodiversity. Photo essay by Paul White. […]

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Slashing Space for Nature? Ireland Backsliding on CAP basics

Cutting space for nature on farms, from its own proposed level of 5% to just 4%, is the most brutal of adjustments mooted by the Department of  Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) in one of the final CAP consultations last Thursday.  A list of five for the most part unambitious eco-schemes has also been announced, which will do little to move Irish agriculture towards a more environmentally sustainable place.  […]

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Save Bees and Farmers! – European Citizens’ Initiative Must Reach 1 Million Signatures by September 30th

The European Citizens’ Initiative ‘Save Bees and Farmers!’ alliance – a network of civil society organisations in agriculture, health and environmental protection – is calling on the European Commission to propose legislation to phase out synthetic pesticides by 2035, to restore biodiversity, and to support farmers in the transition. […]

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UK | Pond Life Revives Hope for On-Farm Wildlife 

Pond restoration yields dramatic results for nature. Seedbanks, dormant for 150 years, spring back to life; rare indigenous plants return within months. Invertebrate populations explode, significant for severely declining freshwater biodiversity. Insect chimneys attract huge numbers of birdlife and twice the species normally seen in the area. Ursula Billington reports on a farmer-inspired project to restore pondlife in Norfolk, UK. […]

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The True Cost of Britain’s Addiction to Factory-Farmed Chicken

The intensive poultry industry in the UK has expanded in recent decades, becoming more akin to the USA’s mega farms. Investigating how intensive poultry units have multiplied across certain parts of the UK, Alison Caffyn discovered that the poultry industry has taken advantage of weak regulatory and planning regimes to scale up the lucrative business.  […]

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Cut The Crap, Withdraw The CAP!

Climate striker Sommer Ackerman became active in protests for a better CAP in October 2020.  She combines activism at EU level in the WithdrawTheCAP campaign with activism at national level to make agri-food policy change in Finland. […]

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Ireland | Forty Shades Of Greenwashing? – Part 1

Ireland’s current agri-food strategy places environmental protection and economic competitiveness on an equal footing. But can ambitions for growth be squared with the state’s duty to protect the environment? In the first of a two-part series, Alison Brogan investigates the realities of sustainable growth on the Emerald Isle. […]

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EU Citizen Survey Indicates Gene Drive Moratorium Support

The first cross-country EU citizens opinion poll on gene drives has found that a majority of respondents supports the call for a global moratorium on release of Gene Drive Organisms and agrees that a global consensus is needed before any gene drive could take place. The representative survey which polled 8,826 citizens from eight EU countries was conducted by international market research institute YouGov. […]