As the bumper sticker says: never criticise a farmer with your mouth full.
The pandemic and its associated lockdowns have served to increase the public’s appreciation of the British countryside and farming. In the summer of 2021, the National Farmers’ Union surveyed 2,000 Britons and found that 84% agreed that their visits to the countryside have given them a greater appreciation of the role farmers play.
While greater public support is welcome, farmers are now transitioning from the Common Agricultural Policy to a new system set out in the Agriculture Act of 2020. The Act has a focus on sustainability and has introduced the concept of farmers delivering “public goods” in the form of environmental and animal welfare benefits.
Does the make farming more of an uphill task?
Aled Evans owns a 400-hectare hill farm on the eastern boundary of the Snowdonia National Park. Here he reflects on the changes in farming and what the future might bring.