Killing Fields

You don’t have to go to the Arctic or Brazilian rainforests to see environmental collapse. It’s on our doorsteps. Here, in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in Wales, where I live and work, monoculture farming, agribusiness and industrial fishing has turned a county, still referred to as An Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), into a worn out industrial landscape.  

Far from helping in our fight against climate change and species loss, monoculture grazing and forestry, increasing pesticide use and toxic slurry runoff from mega dairies is fast degrading our uplands, soils, and rivers. And plastic is fast clogging up our land and sea. It is no wonder that Wales is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world. It was recently ranked 224th out of 240 countries for the health of it’s wildlife and biodiversity (United Nations, State of Nature Report, 2019).

I’m not anti farming. There are farmers who deeply care about the welfare of their animals and who look after nature in a responsible way. And the regenerative farming movement is demonstrating that a balanced and sensitive approach to farming can both improve wildlife whilst maintaining food security. But we need a new national vision for land management in Wales before it’s too late. Living and working in this environment currently fills me with a deep sense of melancholy.

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