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Thread: Wilding an English farm

  1. #1
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    Default Wilding an English farm

    Like a stopped clock, even the Daily Wail can get ir right sometimes.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...g-results.html

    Back to the wild! How letting Mother Nature reclaim prime farmland and allowing cattle and ponies to run free produced breathtaking results

    Conservationists began taking an interest when it emerged that the nightingales nested deep in the exploding skirts of an overgrown hedge, fringed with brambles, nettles and long grasses.
    Contrary to what naturalists had assumed, a nightingale is not a woodland bird after all. Neither are purple emperors — one of our most spectacular butterflies — a woodland species, as previously thought: ours nest in young sallow scrub.
    Even more exciting even than the nightingales was the arrival of turtle doves, with their throaty turr-turr-ing.
    There are estimated to be fewer than 5,000 pairs left in the whole of Britain. The RSPB describes them as feeding on seeds and nothing else. In fact, in the increasing absence of weeds in the countryside, grains may be their food of last resort.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    The English countrtyside is beautiful.

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Headline:

    . . . prime farmland . . .
    Article:

    . . . desperately poor soil . . . our depleted patch of land in the over-developed, densely populated South-East . . .
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    “You call that a longhorn....”.

    These guys thrive in poor conditions.


  5. #5

    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    I caught an interview on the radio about this, very cool.

    https://www.wesa.fm/post/pioneering-...ld-family-farm

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    That
    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    “You call that a longhorn....”.

    These guys thrive in poor conditions.

    would not survive in this:


    Pretty coloured hide though.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Really. Really cool.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Some of our chaps are pretty horny- the late Hamish.hamish.jpg

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Thanks Nick. I just sent the link to my wife who has lectured on the subject of lost habitat recovery, and this seems relevant.
    Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. H. G. Wells

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Quote Originally Posted by isla View Post
    Thanks Nick. I just sent the link to my wife who has lectured on the subject of lost habitat recovery, and this seems relevant.
    Good, hope that it is useful. It was posted on FB, and I thought it deserved a wider audience.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Good, hope that it is useful. It was posted on FB, and I thought it deserved a wider audience.
    Yeah good one.
    We were trying to figure out what the critter is she is holding in her arms. The article seems to suggest Tamworth piglet, but herself and me agree that it is not a pig. The feet are wrong for a start. I checked her Facebook page and read a bit about her rescuing baby beavers in Bavaria, accompanied by the same photo, but to me the ears look too big and too high up the head for a beaver. We're still checking it out.

    Bavarian Beaver



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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    ^ OK we've decided it is a beaver, it's ears are just perked up a bit more.
    Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. H. G. Wells

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    Default

    Interesting. And good. Farming has largely destroyed soil ecosystems here as it has in the UK. If you did that here the land would quickly be overrun by introduced English and other weeds like blackberry, gorse and broom. Bringing back native flora does require some intervention.

    Sent from my CPH1851 using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Quote Originally Posted by isla View Post
    Yeah good one.
    We were trying to figure out what the critter is she is holding in her arms. The article seems to suggest Tamworth piglet, but herself and me agree that it is not a pig. The feet are wrong for a start.
    Most of the photos in the Daily Wail web page are miss captioned. Sloppy editing. Great pity.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Quote Originally Posted by isla View Post
    Yeah good one.
    We were trying to figure out what the critter is she is holding in her arms. The article seems to suggest Tamworth piglet, but herself and me agree that it is not a pig. The feet are wrong for a start. I checked her Facebook page and read a bit about her rescuing baby beavers in Bavaria, accompanied by the same photo, but to me the ears look too big and too high up the head for a beaver. We're still checking it out.

    Bavarian Beaver



    Cute little thing.

    https://petapixel.com/2013/04/12/man...to-photograph/

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    ever seen a wombat?
    Quote Originally Posted by isla View Post
    ^ OK we've decided it is a beaver, it's ears are just perked up a bit more.
    Xanthorrea

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Seriously cool. Even less interventions than Salatin has at Polyface Farm, though probably also less production that is saleable.

    Various regulations about protecting waterways etc would prevent doing some of that here in New Brunswick, even if you had 3500 acres to do it on. But the approach isn't too far different from how some are trying to renew diversity in the forest.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Quote Originally Posted by purri View Post
    ever seen a wombat?
    Just the other day, in Beerwah.
    "Simple minds discuss people, Average minds discuss things, and Great minds discuss ideas".

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    I'm uneasy about this - a giant can of worms.
    Creationists aren't mad - they're possessed of demons.

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Quote Originally Posted by purri View Post
    ever seen a wombat?
    That was my wife's first thought when she saw the photo. We still think that's a possibility. But the fact that the lady has the image on her Facebook page along with an article about beavers is persuasive.

    Wombat
    Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. H. G. Wells

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    Seriously cool. Even less interventions than Salatin has at Polyface Farm, though probably also less production that is saleable.
    They seem to be doing OK
    Apart from all that, longhorns produce exceptional beef. The chef Heston Blumenthal rates it above all other types, including Japanese Kobe, as the best-tasting steak in the world.
    We started culling when our herd had expanded to 283 head — more than the land could happily sustain. Suddenly, a by-product of rewilding became a significant income stream. We were, in effect, producing premium organic beef with no feed and few other costs — and there are now waiting lists for our prime cuts.
    They will be selling pork and venison as well.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Let me introduce you to Masie Fawcett.
    http://www.cowpaddock.com/maisies.html

    I have lived and worked near this place at a ski resort, and skied, fished and hiked thereabouts for over 50 years.Visiting Masies plot each spring to check the fences was a regular trip, sometimes on skis back then.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Both reports just go to show how resilient flora really is and that seeds can lie dormant in the soil for decades, waiting for their moment
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Absolutely. The advice here for landowners who want to try and re-establish something more like the forest which was here before European contact... is to trust that seed bank. To look amongst the scrub and "trash" growing up after however many cycles of clear cutting, and learn to recognize the species which have already germinated. To carefully "release" those seedlings and saplings by opening just enough of the canopy of scrubby stuff, to allow a bit of room to grow... but not too much. The native regeneration us almost every time far more successful than replanting by human hand, and the diversity will reestablish by doing just a couple of minor interventions to get out of the way.

    It will, of course, mean harvesting only garbage trees etc for quite a while, and because of the disparity between trees' lifetimes and our own, a mature forest won't be back till probably 3 or 4 human generations from now.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    ^Pigs help a lot, turning over the soil, eating roots and tubers of the undesirable under story and clearing trash. New Forest commoners have been preserving their ecology like that for generations.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    All very well for a few one-offs, but we will still need our supplies of grain, fruit, and vegetables.

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Quote Originally Posted by birlinn View Post
    All very well for a few one-offs, but we will still need our supplies of grain, fruit, and vegetables.
    I am reminded of the Chillingham herd, but found no mention of whether they receive supplementary feed or not. If they also survive without being fed grain or silage that suggests that there could be more room for growing cereals and veggies for our consumption if more cattle can be managed this way.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    The part of her longer talk on the website for the estate itself that I found most compelling addressed just that, birlinn.

    She observed that a national UK farmers' organization had,called attention to topsoil losses under the present modern farming practices, predicting only 100 more harvests until the topsoil was gone, and there was little left to plant in. In contrast, the soils on her farm have already substantially improved under her "wilding" initiative in about 18 years. She suggested moving to long-cycle fallow periods, of perhaps up to 30 years, to rebuild both ecological diversity and topsoil, at which point machinery could fairly readily clear the scrub and young-ish trees, and the wildlife which had taken up residence in your fallow land could shift a mile or two to another such patch of fallow ground. Leaving renewed and more biologically active soil to be returned to agriculture.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Like a stopped clock, even the Daily Wail can get ir right sometimes.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...g-results.html

    Back to the wild! How letting Mother Nature reclaim prime farmland and allowing cattle and ponies to run free produced breathtaking results

    Just ordered her book from Blackwell's in Oxford. Half the price of the hardcover from Amazon.com ($57 here in the States).
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Re seed banks and fire. Australian flora is adapted to fire (not all of course). Fire triggers the release and germination of seed stock on the forest floor, and some species, like many terrestrial orchids, flourish in the clear ground after a fire until the grass takes over again. But plants and trees require a level of maturity to flower and produce viable seed, and if the fires are too frequent or too hot the seed bank is lost. After big fires a few years ago billions of Mountain Ash tree seeds per hectare germinated, a mature hectare, in time, would contain maybe 3-6 trees.

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    Just the other day, in Beerwah.
    Well named eh?
    Xanthorrea

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Quote Originally Posted by TomF View Post
    The part of her longer talk on the website for the estate itself that I found most compelling addressed just that, birlinn.

    She observed that a national UK farmers' organization had,called attention to topsoil losses under the present modern farming practices, predicting only 100 more harvests until the topsoil was gone, and there was little left to plant in. In contrast, the soils on her farm have already substantially improved under her "wilding" initiative in about 18 years. She suggested moving to long-cycle fallow periods, of perhaps up to 30 years, to rebuild both ecological diversity and topsoil, at which point machinery could fairly readily clear the scrub and young-ish trees, and the wildlife which had taken up residence in your fallow land could shift a mile or two to another such patch of fallow ground. Leaving renewed and more biologically active soil to be returned to agriculture.
    Such activity might be wise, it might even be essential, but it won't happen. Except on a scale too small to make a difference.

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    I think that this kind of thing is incredibly wonderful and hope that the lessons learned from it can influence how farming and land management is done.

    I also find it very odd that people find it so surprising that if left to its own devices, nature can reclaim land and reestablish establish thriving ecosystems in disturbed areas.
    I rather be an American than a Republican.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    Nature has reclaimed Holland Island………...



    Kolmannskop, Namibia…...


    Anno Nuevo Island, California.

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    Default Re: Wilding an English farm

    lotsa carp there...
    Xanthorrea

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