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Roadside verges, Seasonal labour

To cut or not to cut? Some rural residents want verges strimmed for safety and tidiness reasons; but environment campaigners say verges are a refuge for flowers and pollinators.

Roadside verges: to cut or not to cut? The organisation Plantlife is campaigning for councils to reduce the frequency of their verge cutting, and leave the roadsides to their own devices until late summer. They say this allows rare wildflowers and plants to flourish, and pollinators to make the most of them. However some rural residents say left to their own devices, verges are becoming dangerous for drivers and pedestrians - as well as looking messy and becoming potential hot-spots for litter and dog mess.

The Welsh Environment Secretary Lesley Griffiths has announced a new regionalised approach to tackling bovine TB. The country will be split into low-, intermediate- and high-risk zones based on levels of the disease. Farms with long-term problems with TB will be given individual action plans, which could involve cage-trapping and humane killing of infected badgers.

All this week Farming Today is discussing foreign labour and its importance to Britain's agricultural sector. As Brexit negotiations get underway, the future may still be unclear - but some farmers are already raising concerns about the challenge of recruiting this summer's seasonal workforce. Anna Hill's been to visit the vegetable producer G's Fresh in Cambridgeshire to find out more.

And to mark the summer solstice - the shortest night and longest day of the year, and the official start of summer - Radio 4 has a day of poetry, kicking off with some William Blake on Farming Today, read by Noma Dumezweni.

Presented by Anna Hill; produced by Lucy Taylor.

13 minutes

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