Renewable energy in Scotland's Western Isles; sheep farmers respond to PETA's anti-wool campaign.
Making money from the weather. Will wind energy still pay its way in rural areas despite the drop in subsidies, asks Charlotte Smith. Not, perhaps, in Scotland's Western Isles.
Making money from the weather. Will wind energy still pay its way in rural areas despite the drop in subsidies, asks Charlotte Smith. Not, perhaps, in Scotland's Western Isles. A betrayal. That's how political leaders in the Western Isles see the decision to block subsidies for onshore wind there. A fresh consultation was announced last month at Westminster on support for renewables in the islands which could lead to a one billion pound investment. BBC Scotland's rural affairs correspondent Kevin Keane reports from Lewis.
This week on Farming Today we're focussing on the ONE thing farmers can't change, but nonetheless famously endlessly moan and commiserate over - the weather! But for some the weather is less of a challenge and more of a resource. Sun and wind can offer farmers an opportunity to create energy. Initially the Government offered incentives to encourage the take-up of renewable energy, though those have changed Merlin Hyman - chief executive of Regen South West, which specialises in renewables, told me that UK weather systems still offer massive potential for untapped power generation.
Farmers in the UK have said that a campaign by an animal welfare charity urging people NOT to wear wool is misguided - and could actually end up causing harm to sheep. People for the ethical treatment of Animals, PETA - says people shouldn't wear wool because the animals are treated cruelly. But those that farm them say that if they are NOT shorn, they could well die. BBC South's Environment Correspondent Yvette Austin reports.
Among the unexpected things you learn whilst listening to Farming Today: did you know, for example, that in their larval stage, fresh water mussels are free swimming, and rely on sheltering in the gills of fish such as brown trout? Despite that rather clever evolutionary trick - fresh water pearl mussels are struggling in many of England's streams and rivers because of climate change and pollution. BBC South West's Environment Correspondent, Adrian Campbell, has been given exclusive access to some pioneering work in Devon which aims to change that.
Presented by Charlotte Smith and produced by Mark Smalley.