Wantisden: Farmers’ climate challenge under spotlight with launch of Future Landscapes leaflet

WAYS of adapting farm businesses to challenges presented by climate change are set out in a new leaflet launched on a Suffolk farm next week.

The Future Landscapes leaflet is being published at the end of a two-year project run by National Farmers’ Union (NFU) East Anglia, working on behalf of Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) on Friday.

The project’s aim was to identify future climate change risks to farm businesses in the AONB and to develop a range of effective measures farmers could use in response.

Project manager and NFU adviser Alex Dinsdale said: “Weather events such as this year’s spring drought, followed by heavy summer rain, are not new but experts predict they will increase in both frequency and severity.

“Farmers will face the challenge of growing more food under increasingly difficult weather conditions, without harming the environment. The Future Landscapes leaflet suggests a wide range of measures farm businesses can take to help them improve resilience and environmental performance in the face of this challenge.”

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The leaflet is being launched at Wantisden Hall Farm, run by farm manager Tim Pratt, a business that is already addressing issues around climate change. The farm is re-introducing livestock into its crop rotations to help soil fertility, building an anaerobic digestion plant to produce renewable energy and has reservoirs that provide a haven for wildlife as well as water for crop irrigation.

David Wood, chairman of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB, said: “The AONB is delighted to be launching this leaflet with the NFU.

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“We thank the Suffolk Coastal Local Strategic Partnership for its support and hope that this leaflet will help farmers in the AONB adapt to the inevitable rigours of climate change. They have an important role to play in conserving this special place.”

The launch event starts at 9.30am and will include a tractor and trailer tour of Wantisden Hall Farm.

Copies of the Future Landscapes leaflet will be available to download from 12 October on www.suffolkcoastandheaths.org or www.nfuonline.com/regions/east-anglia

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