Rural Reflections

Why badgers should take extra care on the A38, and why I miss the sight of a squashed hedgehog

CLICK THE "As I Please" LINK (ABOVE) TO REGISTER AND READ THIS FREE ARTICLE 1st June 2018 Driving back to Cornwall the other day, I noticed the aftermath of...

Cornwall’s dairy farmers invited to New Year NFU conference

29th December 2017 By Anne North Cornwall’s dairy farmers are being urged to attend a special New Year conference to hear about the latest developments in their industry. Cornwall...

Not for sale

Among the many things they get up to at County Hall, one operation which I can unhesitatingly single out for praise (yes, you did read that correctly) is the...

My Blue Remembered Hills

Lots of clever people with much better qualifications than me have written about the importance of landscape to memory.  All I can say is that I agree with them....

Wildlife policy in an environment free of facts

A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting the then Secretary of State for the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Owen Paterson, at the...

Harvest home

It’s official – summer ends today.  And once again I have failed to harvest nature’s bounty from the garden: the redcurrants and blackcurrants remain unpicked, the birds ate all...

Revolutionaries in green wellies

You have to wade through a fair amount of fertiliser in this game (journalism, I mean) but this weekend’s government announcement that it would guarantee European Union farm subsidies...

An apple a day

It looks like it’s going to be an excellent year for my apples. I got the trees pruned hard last year – for the first time in decades –...

Betting our hedges

I think that if there is one element of the countryside which defines rural Cornwall, it is our hedges. They mark ownership boundaries. They stop livestock escaping from fields....

Too easily ensnared by ignorance

When I moved into this house 30 years ago, one of the first curios which I noticed the previous owners had left behind, hanging on a shed wall, was...

Be careful out there

Life in rural Cornwall, particularly for anyone involved in agriculture, is often portrayed as a battle against wild animals. Any beast which competes with us for space and resources,...

Let us (s)pray that nothing goes wrong…

Something you might think I would have learned by now is that almost every initiative I try to take on running this place has some unintended consequence. For example,...

Brexit and brown flags

So far, very few of the millions of words written about last week’s Brexit have touched on the environment. It is a sobering thought that many of the reasons...

Always going the extra mile

The patch of oil on my garage floor is now so large I’m thinking of joining OPEC. Unfortunately the oil comes not from a deep well of latent riches,...

Economics of the real world

Another year, another show over. By the time you read this, planning for 2017 will be well underway. For me, the stand-out story of last week’s Royal Cornwall Show...

The last 10 seconds

As scholarly readers of the Cornish Guardian, and William Shakespeare, will know, Hamlet was not talking about chickens when he said “I must be cruel only to be kind.”...

Skinning knuckles or drinking beer

Hard to believe, but once upon a time I might have been an engineer. This weekend I had good reason to wish that 45 years ago, history had taken...

Show time

Only two weeks to go. There’s an eerie calm about Wadebridge right now, as if people know what’s coming and they know how to deal with it. The show...

Knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing

You can’t walk very far along a country lane in North Cornwall at this time of year without noticing the riot of wild flowers in the hedgerows. The smell...

Life is too short for all the paperwork

A young chap called last week to ask if he could look at my trees. He was from Western Power, and as the company had not looked at the...