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In your field: Rachel Coates - 'Social media thread got me thinking about wool'

A thread on Twitter about British wool recently, got me thinking. There has been lots in the farming press and social media about the very low price of wool most years, but particularly this year.

Many similarities to the dairy industry can be drawn, such as burning wool and throwing away milk.Blaming the global price is also a situation dairy farmers are familiar with.

 

We all support each other by buying British food, but do we do the same with wool?

 

Going by the typical farming workwear of cotton hooded jumper and polyester fleece, especially those German made gilets synonymous with agricultural students, we are not doing much to support the industry.

 

Figures from British Wool suggest that if every person in the UK was to buy 200g of wool a year, the price of wool would be sustainable.

 

How many of us farmers buy wool socks, or have a wool filled pillow, duvet or even mattress?

 

British wool jumpers are harder to find, but a good one will last years. I still have the 30-year-old one I bought when I was at agricultural college.


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Over the summer it has been a treat to watch nightly owl flights, being so fortunate that a nesting pair of barn owls set up home on the farm, and we have been lucky enough to see owlets.

 

Along with little owls and tawnys, we can now say we have three species on the farm.

 

Kestrels

 

We work closely with a local wildlife photographer and have discovered other species of birds on the farm through her, usually in the little brown bird category that get forgotten about, such as wheatears and whinchats.

 

Another photographer caught three kestrels fledging from a nest on the farm and our regular kites, hares and swallows often appear on our village social media pages.

 

Talking of social media, we enjoyed taking part in 24 Hours in Farming and have put up more day to day farming stories on a couple of platforms.

 

Lots of lovely comments from customers and other members of the public, really the only negatives were from other farmers.

 

Why does this happen? I have happily shared any advice I could with several people who have rung
me about setting up a vending machine operation and wish everyone well who is doing it.

 

‘We are all in this together’ is a slogan you see a lot and when it comes to farming post-Brexit. It could not be truer.

 

Let’s just be nice and support each other through whatever the rest of 2020 has to throw at us and beyond.

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