The coming revolution in subsidies is driving interest that could help the climate and biodiversity
“My farming friends think I’m nuts – I can’t remember when that hedge was cut last,” says Richard Thomas. Cutting is usually an annual event, but the bushy, 3-metre-wide hedgerow is now home to yellowhammers, his favourite birds.
Thomas has laid about a kilometre of hedgerows in the past few years on his 250-hectare (617-acre) cattle and sheep farm in Herefordshire, where his family have farmed since 1893. But he would like to do more and hopes the fast-approaching revolution in the government’s use of the £3bn a year in farming subsidies is going to help.