Archives for posts with tag: Miles King

New Year’s Resolution to experience and express gratitude– I’m grateful to people who work really hard on the issues I deeply care about.  Miles King is one of them. Here’s what he says about Brexit opportunities.

a new nature blog

pebble

I’m delighted to be able to tell you about this new report which is published today. It’s the first People Need Nature policy report – A Pebble in the Pond: Opportunities for farming, food and nature after Brexit. You can download it here.

Here’s the summary:

As England prepares to leave the EU we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the way we support England’s land managers.  This report shows how leaving the EU will enable us to channel money from the public purse to land managers in such a way that they can both produce food, help nature and provide all the other benefits society needs.

The last forty years of farm subsidies from Europe via the Common Agricultural Policy has contributed to a dramatic decline in nature on farmland – land that covers three quarters of England. The vote to leave the EU means we…

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We need to keep informed about agriculture oriented towards energy production. In the case of maize in Britain, there’s also a terrible association with soil runoff during excessive rain events that contributes to flooding, as in this piece by George Monbiot with it’s quite shocking video component.  A responsible climate change policy would take into account both the importance of good land management (as nudged or not by subsidies) and actual carbon figures, which Miles King, in the post shared below, discusses so clearly.

a new nature blog

p1040939 Biogas Maize is now grown widely in the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty © Miles King

Maize grown specifically for Anaerobic Digesters to produce “biogas” is an increasingly common crop in England, especially in the South West. The area under Biogas Maize increased by 55% in 2016 compared to 2015, to 52000ha. The National Farmers Union set a target of 200,000ha of land under biogas Maize back in 2011, so they are 25% of the way to their target.

Maize is a very environmentally damaging crop, probably the most environmentally damaging crop grown in the UK. Why then is so much of it being grown? Because the Government pays not one, but two subsidies for it to be grown – the generous single payment (now over £200 per hectare annually) for anyone who owns farmland; and on top of this there are a range of payments including the Renewable…

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Reblogging a really good round-up of social and ecological issues pertinent to British farming at the current moment of climate change and CAP subsidies. Am sure there’s lots that readers would consider arguable -some real challenges to the status quo – but well worth a read and a share.  Would be very interested to hear responses.

Nature and the common good

Food and the Environment

A guest post from environmental campaigner and writer Miles King, who blogs on nature here.

We all need to eat and most of us want to see at least some of our food produced in Britain, if it can be. Who knows, with climate change already with us, English banana crops might not be so ridiculous an idea in 50 years.

Self sufficiency is not a realistic prospect and it should not even be considered as an appealing principle to aspire to – what is the point of Britain producing sugar beet with a higher carbon and environmental footprint than the cane sugar we import from countries who benefit from its trade?Especially when that Beet has a special subsidy and tariff system to protect its producers from competition.

Currently food production in Britain is subsidised through the Common Agricultural Policy to the tune of around £200…

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