The farmland around Rye is filling up with the famous Romney sheep, as they return from their winter holidays. It’s traditional, as well as a requirement from Natural England, for the sheep to leave the marsh ground over the winter once the grass stops growing.
The lambing season is just starting and, although we are in for a gruelling few weeks of work with calving, lambing and planting crops, I feel this year we are also the lucky ones not to be cooped up with the Covid-19 restrictions.
I have the freedom of several hundred acres of land, with plentiful amounts of fresh air and exercise, plus the added bonus of been completely isolated from the world’s population.
As a livestock farmer we have not only had to endure the constant rain for the last few months, but also the serious abuse from militant vegans and Extinction Rebellion which does question why we bother to do the job.
These pressure groups might have tried to hoodwink the gullible people to believe that it was livestock that was ruining the planet, but locking down the world to aeroplanes and industry has proved how wrong they have been.
The change in satellite images of pollution has been astounding over the last few weeks; let alone seeing the huge reduction in carbon dioxide. All without reducing the population of cows and sheep! Let’s hope people remember this when we eventually emerge from this current unprecedented crisis.
So for the first time in my life I have witnessed supermarkets with empty shelves of food and have seen the results of people’s fears of going hungry. Maybe farming will get the respect back that it had when food was rationed and constantly in short supply.
Bizarrely though, even though the shops are short of food, the price we are paid for our produce has been considerably reduced since the crisis started. That’s the power of the supermarket buyers!
So while life on the farm has changed little in this crisis, we do feel desperately sorry for the predicament that other businesses in Rye are enduring. We really need to forget globalisation when we eventually beat Covid-19 and actually support local trades and businesses. Stay safe and good luck.
Image Credits: Simon Wright .