HAMPSHIRE and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust will be showing a film about new ways of farming at Andover’s theatre.
It will take place on 26 July at the Lights Theatre and will feature One Man, His Mud and His Mutt.
The film documents a young local farmer’s quest to radically change his methods and find an economically and environmentally sustainable way of farming.
Made by Graham Harvey, who regularly writes for Radio 4’s The Archers, it features Kingsclere-based farmer Tim May, who, after becoming increasingly concerned at the state of our agricultural soils and the use of agrochemicals and fertilisers, decided to change his farming system to one which flies in the face of conventional farming practice, but which he believes is the answer to some of the challenges facing us today.
The film documents how fourth generation farmer Tim, a father of two young children, takes a dramatic leap of faith and begins the process of converting his farming system to one that he hopes will provide a better future for his children and the farm.
He wants to stop fighting nature and work with natural biological processes, reducing the need for chemical fertilisers and pesticides which have been the mainstay of the estate’s management for decades For the first time in more than a decade he is bringing sheep and cattle back to the farm. To feed them he has sown half his land with flower-filled grassland.
He hopes the return of grazing animals will put fertility back into soils weakened by years of chemical farming.
It is also likely to lead to a big increase in wildlife.
The plants are nutritionally beneficial with natural qualities which remove the need for medicine and reduce the use of antibiotics.
Graham Harvey, author of many books on food, farming and the countryside, including We Want Real Food, believes the methods being pioneered at Kingsclere could be a game-changer for the British countryside.
He said: “Agriculture has to change – that much is certain.
“We need to produce our food in ways that work with nature rather than wage war on it. Tim May is showing us the way ahead.”
Graham will be there on the night to participate in a question and answer session along with Tim and Alison Cross from the Wildlife Trust.
Alison Cross, the trust’s area head of conservation for North Hampshire, said: “I’m truly inspired by Tim’s tenacity and courage and also by his father Robert who, though yet to be convinced by some of Tim’s plans, is giving him his encouragement and support.”