i mention no names

I used to see crested newts, adders and moorhens on my walks. There used to be brown trout and a dozen pairs of heron in the streams. The herons are very rare now – the rest gone – for good? – who knows? I do not support or believe in intensive farming. It has become nearly impossible for us now to achieve a simple environmental existence in this valley. On a current planning application the applicant is proudly saying he is one of the largest farms employing large numbers of people in the area. As objectors we are merely allowed to comment on visual implications. These are the things we are not allowed to comment on. We are smallholders, we make an honest living but we are unable to apply for organic status as the land and water courses are now so polluted it will take nearly a hundred years to clear they tell us. All the land above us is farmed differently. It has been deep ploughed and re-seeded with fast growing, high yielding grass which can be cut 3 times every year for silage to feed dairy cows. The muck from the cow sheds is stored and spread on these fields. The dairy detergent which is used to wash the sheds out has to be disposed of environmentally so it doesn’t enter the watercourses. The cows have huge udders and sometimes they struggle to walk – sometimes their back legs give way and they do the splits. This farm has to reduce their carbon footprint so they have applied for 2 giant windmills – also stating they can expand and this will be good. I wonder if we will lose the¬†hundreds of bats which circle our house every night, the owls and the flowers and herbs which are slowly and surely being replaced with reeds…

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