BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 17 Oct '14

NFU REVEALS JUST HOW MUCH FARMERS DO TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has released a video to show how much farmers across England do to protect wildlife and the environment.

98% of farmers say that protecting farm wildlife is important, and the video celebrates the work that has been done on farmland to ensure environmentally friendly habitats are created or preserved.

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Farms in England grow 8,000 hectares of flowers for pollinators, and farmers grow 12,274 hectares of food for farmland birds. 7,387 kilometres of watercourses travelling through farmland have been fenced to keep the water clean, under the industry-led Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE).

Back British Farming video

 

The video includes several farmers who are keen to share their good practice, such as Ally Hunter Blair, one of Channel 4’s First Time Farmers, who manages his field margins to protect hedgerows and watercourses.

‘This new video demonstrates that UK farmers care about the environment they work in. It is important that the public sees how much farmers are already doing voluntarily to maintain habitats for wildlife, wild flowers and plants for pollinators, and protect water courses.’

Sam Durham, CFE co-ordinator

As well as helping to conserve and protect wildlife, a third of farmers also produce renewable energy, for use on their farms or to power local homes and businesses in rural communities.

Climate-friendly energy produced on farms could reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by up to 17 million tonnes of CO2 by 2020. Agriculture could be the source of over a quarter of national renewable energy needs.

How we feel about farmers

In recent survey commissioned by the NFU, which followed the launch of the Back British Farming campaign, 67% of respondents said they think favourably about farmers – a 5% increase that continues an upward trend from 2012.

The survey also questioned people’s understanding of farming’s impact on the economy and the countryside. Results show that 90% believe farming is fairly or very important to the economy, and almost three quarters think farmers have a beneficial effect on the countryside.

‘Many of our farmers work in very rural areas in an isolated way but the work they do effects the everyday lives of British people. It’s heartening that shoppers are not only aware of the farming sector but are consciously making the right decisions to back British farming.’

Meurig Raymond, NFU president

The focal point of the NFU’s campaign work is explaining to consumers not only why they should Back British Farming, but also how they can do so. Farmers proudly produce high-quality and delicious British food, have world-leading animal welfare standards, contribute to the economy and are custodians of the countryside.

To find out more about the NFA and the works it’s doing to support farming in England and Wales, visit nfuonline.com.