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Farming Today


Farming Today This Week: City Farms

Sybil Ruscoe visits Windmill Hill City Farm in Bristol to find out how they make ends meet after years of public funding cuts. She meets adults who volunteer on the farm to improve their mental health and hears how a day nursery helps fund the rest of the farm. We also have reports from city farms across the rest of the UK: in Gloucester, inner-city kids are learning to ride... in London, livestock have been moved to make way for Crossrail... and in Cardiff, one boy's life has been changed forever. Presented by Sybil Ruscoe Produced by Heather Simons


Welsh food branding, flood defence, city farms

A group of food producers in Wales say their produce should be branded with the Welsh dragon to distinguish it from other British foods. Others argue that British branding is best because the Union flag is more universally known, Farming Today has a report. A pioneering flood defence scheme in Somerset could be rolled out to other parts of the country if successful. And a city farm aims to get wayward youngsters back on the right track. Presented by Charlotte Smith Produced by Alun Beach.


Litter in the countryside, electrical pulse fishing and a city care farm

Broken sledges, plastic bottles, crisp packets - just some of the things left behind on Dartmoor after the recent snow. Litter is something which many rural communities find both depressing and intractable - national figures are no longer collected but few think the situation is improving. So what needs to change? Pulse fishing uses electrical signals to drive fish off the sea bed and into the net. Proponents say it causes less physical damage to the seabed than other, heavier trawling equipment - but many UK fishermen say it hits fish stocks. It was banned by the EU in the 1990's but then allowed in some areas - including parts of the North Sea - from 2006. Now British ministers say it will be banned in UK waters after Brexit And we visit a city care farm in Cardiff to find out how developing relationships with animals can help children with learning disabilities. Presented by Charlotte Smith Produced by Heather Simons


Chris Packham tackles wildlife crime, vertical farming, live animal transport, Stepney city farm

Wildlife presenter Chris Packham starts a new venture - a non-profit company to bring prosecutions against wildlife crime. We ask him what sort of cases the group will bring. We visit Europe’s biggest vertical farm in Lincolnshire, which has 5,000 square meters of growing space arranged in racks rising to the height of 11m, and producing up to 420 tonnes of leafy greens per year. The British Veterinary Association is calling for a complete review of how live animals are transported,within the UK and abroad. We hear from BVA president, Simon Doherty. Our reporter Howard Shannon has been to Stepney City Farm in East London, which benefited from a compulsory land purchase linked to the construction of Crossrail. Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Beatrice Fenton.


Rural services in decline, American dairy, farm plastic, Gloucester City Farm

Poor access to mobile signals, internet, transport and health services is holding back the rural economy. Research group Rural England calls for legislation to ensure funds are set-aside for rural services. Farmers from Wisconsin visit a Welsh dairy farm. Lloyd and Daphne Holterman have 950 milking cows producing 40 litres of milk each, each a day - that's nearly double the average amount of milk a UK dairy cow produces. Mariclare Carey-Jones joined them as they were given a tour of Brynhyfred Farm in Haverfordwest. Up until 1st January this year, many farmers in Scotland received special permission to burn much of their plastic waste. They are now having to comply with the same rules as the rest of UK farmers, and send it away for recycling or landfill instead. We hear from one farmer trying to reduce the amount of farm plastic he uses. Gloucester City Farm runs a twelve week foundation course in horse management for children. Some participants go on to compete in a pony race, and a few have even competed at Cheltenham Race Course. Emily Hughes went to visit. Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Beatrice Fenton.


Hare coursing, the economic impact of equine flu, and what are city farms for?

From having steel ball-bearing put through a window... to being threatened with a knife. Farmers in Cambridgeshire say they're being intimidated by hare coursers. The sport was made illegal in 2004, but police are struggling to stamp it out. Our reporter has spent a year following their progress. How will our rural communities feel the economic impact of equine flu? From studs and training stables to the hotel and bars around the racecourses, it's been estimated that 85 thousands jobs reply on the industry. So what will all the cancelled racing fixtures mean? And after years of council budget cuts, how are city farms faring? We kick off a week of features from urban farms. Presented by Charlotte Smith Produced by Heather Simons