Sustainable Agriculture London
Health, Nutrition and Preventative Medicine through Permanent Agriculture

Sustainable Agriculture London

Pollinators and why farmers are afraid of weeds

If farmers want to increase pollinators they should not only introduce agroforestry systems but stop using chemicals in their farming systems.

The Question is – How to do this.

BBC FARMING TODAY features Matthew Oats on a Wilture Farm, starts at 00.30

pollinators have been in declline since the 1950’s laregly due to loss of their natural habitats. Their habitats have been lost to the scale of Industrial farming.

My question is, as author of this site, and the same when I visited a conference at the Hose of Commons concerning the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agro Ecology, why are all the field borders I have seen  just bare grass there are no weeds or wild flowers? The answer I got from one of the panellists was “I have no Idea”.

I feel I have the answer to this……It is because farmers are afraid of weeds. This is because of their farming systems. If they leave weeds on the sides of their fields they will seed and spread onto their fields and then infest the field and interfere with the crop they are growing. This is due to their policy of one man and a tractor. The more weeds there are the more chemicals they have to use. They are continually told this is bad so they don’t want the weeds….thus a vicious circle is created between  wildlife, insects and Farming Today.

What is needed is a change in the farming methods.

Also at 5.15 on this edition Charlie Jahanshad has spent 25 years as a picker and tells the presenter Cas Graham  young people now are definately not into physical work at all.  She says she is British and that she finds generally British people are lazy.  This is peculiar because there are so many gyms and excercise centres around the country and so many people our running these days – to keep fit. There needs to be a change in the way we keep fit. If people went farming rather than running we would get a lot more natural farming done.

Author and butterfly writer Matthew Oats visits a farm in Wiltshire and remarks on the amount of insects present in this field. The borders are full of wild plants and this he says is a very good use of lower grade agricultural land . He says he wants to see more marginal land used like this and he says he wants to buy food from farming systems such as this.

This forms the subject matter of what the Good Gardeners charity have been advocating for the last 60 yeas.

“Farming should be more like gardening and gardening should be more like farming”  “then you wouldn’t need all the chemicals that are used today.”

Richard Higgins, author of this web site and Director of Good Gardeners International.