Cambridgeshire Young Farmers learn about nature friendly farming

On Sunday 3rd April 2022, Martin Lines, UK Chair, Nature Friendly Farming Network, joined by Sarah Palmer from the National Federation of Young Farmers, hosted a visit of the Cambridgeshire Federation of Young Farmers at Martin’s farm, Papley Grove Farm, near Eltisely, St Neots. Over 20 young farmers, ranging from ages 11 to 26 joined Cambridgeshire County Councillors, Elisa Meschini (deputy lead) and Phillipa Slatter, Helen Dye of Natural Cambridgeshire and other guests to enjoy a presentation and talk by Sarah and Martin, followed by a farm walk.

The event was a great opportunity to discuss future farming policy and opportunities with the next generation who are choosing careers in the agricultural sector. By walking around the farm and looking at the machinery Martin uses, there was learning and discussion about how to develop farming systems that deliver solutions for the climate and nature crisis. While Martin admitted that he wasn’t taught about ‘creepy crawlies‘ at agricultural college, he emphasised how the farming community needs to work closely together with, ‘those who understand bugs, beetles and wildlife’, to ensure crops, soil and land remain healthy, and reliance on pesticides and artificial fertilisers is reduced.

Recognising how the move towards farming where nature, food production and running a business all need to work in tandem, and how this means effectively learning a new language, The Prince’s Countryside Fund have produced a useful jargon free glossary of terms.