How fortunate that Boris turned down the offer to join the EU in acquiring and administering the vaccine. Just like most of what Brussels does, their system has proved to be less than efficient.
Years ago when I visited Holland, my generous hosts went to extraordinary lengths to show me the iconic sights across their unique country which included: the beautiful tulip fields, vast numbers of graceful windmills, and the network of cycle routes, many of which pre-dated the arrival of the automobile, which is noteworthy.
The Netherlands is one of the most populated countries on the planet, two thirds of which is vulnerable to flooding. The low-lying regions have been fighting back water for more than 1,000 years, when farmers built the first dykes.
Windmills have been pumping water off the land since 14th century. In the 17th century the process was intensified as the country was prospering.
Donald Trump is not the only one who has been banned from Facebook. It was reported in the Sunday Telegraph that the social media group has sent individuals to Facebook ‘jail’ for up to 48 hours, for mentioning the well-known beauty spot Devil’s Dyke, which it decided was, ‘offensive hate speech’! It has since backtracked and apologised - but really? I wonder how the Dutch would feel about having to rename their dykes.
Lamb prices are holding up well despite the scare stories put about pre-Brexit. In fact some farmers are receiving record prices for their lambs. Hopefully the weather is kind when lambing start in earnest in due course, although we have already had our first arrival at Ote Hall.
DEFRA has produced some arbitrary new rules for transporting livestock. It would appear without actually understanding their implications upon the livestock industry.
Following the eight week ‘Improvement to Animal Welfare in Transport Probe’, intended to ban live animal exports from England and Wales for slaughter and further fattening in Europe, a series of measurers for general animal transport, including an unhelpful ban on journeys above 40 miles, on days when external temperatures are forecast to be below 5C or above 30C.
Defra also proposes to introduce changes to in-transit head room, which could see two-deck lorries reduced to one. Thus making the transport of lambs unaffordable - certainly double the cost.
The priority of all farmer’s is the welfare of our livestock. We go to great lengths to ensure our sheep, cattle and other farm animals to arrive at their destination in tip top condition. It is therefore a puzzle to understand why DEFRA considers it necessary to bring in new regulations, when the current system works well and has done for decades.
The total ban on live exports also makes little sense. Some of the journeys from the South of England across the channel to France, are far shorted than taking livestock to Scotland or the north of England. If there is an open and lucrative market a couple of hours away, surely that journey is preferable to heading north for journeys of eight hours or more?
Perhaps those clamouring to kerb this traditional flow of livestock should arrange to accompany a haulier. That way they may understand that the livestock have a safe and reasonably comfortable journey, and are none the worse for their trip on arrival.
We are delighted and grateful to Mid-Sussex Planning Committee for granting Ote Hall Farm full planning consent for the farm shop and tea room, last Thursday. This essential development financially future proofs and ensures the independence of Ote Hall Farm into the next century.