Gransnet forums

Other subjects

Have you read Wilding?

(8 Posts)
NfkDumpling Wed 04-Mar-20 08:18:17

Has anyone else read Wilding by Isabelle Tree? (I think she’s Isabelle - I’ve lent the book to someone!). Very interesting and puts a new slant which way our agriculture should head.

M0nica Wed 04-Mar-20 11:14:50

I have not read the book but I have read lots of reviews and interviews with the author.

The question nor answered by the author, is how do we feed the world, or even those on our islands, if we go back to this type of agricultural system.

I am not suggesting factory farming but there are many environmentally benign ways of producing food to feed the world and this seems to me to be clever way of making an income from a beguling and attractive idea.

But as a way of producing enough food to feed people, it is a non-starter

NfkDumpling Wed 04-Mar-20 14:22:13

I don’t think she was advocating rewinding everywhere, but just the areas where farmers are struggling to make ends meet. And then not just letting it go but doing things differently. Working with nature rather than fighting it. Places where arable works productively are so much more efficient we can afford to go easier in some places. She emphasises the necessity for pasture lands and restoring flood plains and such like, and how this improves biodiversity.

Its a very interesting read - I think you’d like it.

M0nica Wed 04-Mar-20 16:37:36

As I said I haven't read the book, just extensive articles interviewing her and talking about her scheme. Yes there are places where this type of farming is ideal, but I in everything I read, she seemed very vague about the future of such farming.

I am very keen on environmentally friendly and conservation farming. My meat now comes from a Pasture for Life Farm, whose cattle are reared on pasture land and are fed in winter on hay from the farm.

NfkDumpling Wed 04-Mar-20 17:16:54

Basically, they were pouring nitrogen and money into land which was clay and claggy and they were going under.

Now they have longhorn cattle, Tamworth pigs, various deer and Dartmoor ponies which pretty much all look after themselves. Yes, they are making good money from the “culled” meat and the sidelines they’re doing - yurts and all - but the wildlife they’ve gained is incredible in what is really a comparatively small area. A lot about about carbon in pasture and lists which I’m afraid I skipped over.

There are groups of farmers in Norfolk doing much the same thing, but incorporating it with their commercial farming. And it’s paying off. Makes me feel much better about my fussy meat eating habits!

Tillybelle Wed 04-Mar-20 17:31:09

NfkDumpling. Just sending off my order for the book....

NfkDumpling Wed 04-Mar-20 17:37:32

Enjoy Tilly!

Callistemon Wed 04-Mar-20 17:56:54

I saw this on Countryfile last year, very interesting.

Their land, however, totals thousands of acres and is larger than many farms in the UK. I wonder how such farming methods would transfer to farms which may only be a tenth of the size?

I think there are many farmers doing their best to produce food, earn a living and encourage wildlife within the limits of their much smaller farms.