Waking up this morning to wall-to-wall Brexit, one knew that today would be the day to bury bad news or daft news.

You didn’t have to look far to find that daft news. The clever fool Michael Gove was at it again with an announcement by the government committee on climate change that they wanted a 50% cut in agricultural land devoted to cattle and sheep farming because they fart and create climate change.

Monbiot said that was timid. Factory reared chickens are great apparently as are pigs. I think they must all have compulsory dips in chlorine to be on that Committee. It is chaired by the eco loony Tory Selwyn Gummer.

Pigs outdoors, by the way, are a nightmare for runoff into rivers. Our wonderful Eden Rivers Trust has spent 15 years trying to ensure there are no pig farms sending soil and effluent into the Eden and Eamont.

I believe in climate change – I just happen to believe it is caused by driving petrol and diesel cars and lorries and burning fossil fuels. I also believe that technology like electric cars and better public transport and shared heating systems and even nuclear power is the answer. But no, it is the cows and sheep farting that is the problem.

Actually you need cattle and sheep to keep up soil quality. They do wonders for wild flowers, beetles, they munch all the bad stuff and good stuff comes out from their behinds. Then we have lots of birds and things. It’s the nasty big people who grow all the stuff that we are being encouraged to eat by this government who are killing all the bugs by spraying everything. That means starvation for our birds and for fish in our rivers.

The NFU are apparently in favour of this daft plan to reduce cattle and sheep. Well that’s not surprising, no farmer I know belongs to the NFU - they can’t afford it. Round here we know they are really an insurance company and just like the rest. This year they sent my mother-in-law a renewal quote for her 4x4 at £900 – she moved to LV because they charged her £300.

Anyway Monbiot believes in rewilding. This means converting upland Britain into an impenetrable forest. He believes that in ancient times the whole country was covered in forest from Land’s end to John O’Groats. Actually it wasn’t – read the book ‘Grazing Ecology and Forest History’ by Frans Vera. That gives the lie to Monbiot and the eco loonies. Our land was always grazed by deer, cattle and native sheep and goats. Trees grew out of Blackthorn and gorse. Forests moved about and animals kept the choice spots clear of trees so they could graze by eating them down.

Monbiot (why does spellcheck want to turn him into Minibus?) also believes in genocide for farm animals and wonderful breeds of cattle and sheep. His sort believes we would be healthier if we didn’t eat red meat. They say that without any scientific evidence whatsoever.

In fact the human body is designed to eat meat, we want to eat it because we are preprogrammed to like it. Our bodies don’t get fat on it. Animal fat does not cause high cholesterol. In fact the human body is a wonderful machine that turns sugars into human fat. Wheat, potatoes, rice etc contain lots of carbohydrate (that’s basically sugar). Depending on your tolerance, you turn that sugar into some fat or lots of fat. Some people are so efficient at turning sugar to fat that they can’t even eat a biscuit. These people and their kids need to eat much more red meat and ordinary vegetables and stay off the bread, pasta and veggie diets.

Now turning to rewilding as preached by Monbiot. You will need to fence it all in and kill all the deer. It will be horrid impenetrable scrub for a couple of hundred years.

In the meantime you will have destroyed a way of life in rural Britain. ‘Khmer in the Community’ I call it. Google Khmer. They took the intelligentsia into the countryside to work…thinking about it that’s a hell of a plan. Gove forgot his wellies when he last came to Cumbria, but then he might not even own a pair.

In the interim my wife is busy rewriting nursery rhymes and Christmas songs.

‘Bye bye blacksheep’ for the little ones

‘Mary has a little mushroom full of vitamin B12…’

She is away and enjoys amusing us.

Anyway we have a rib of beef for tonight and recently we had a party where everything came from our place in Scotland. Venison carpaccio, scallops dived for by one of the diners, our own Highland beef. Fantastic.

Adrian Hill

Woodside Farm




CA10 2AP