H&C is sad to hear of the Royal Agricultural Society of England's (RASE) announcement that the 160th Royal Show this summer will be the last in its current format. RASE is planning on creating a new programme of events from 2010.
This week RASE said the decision had been a real challenge, but the response to the Show in recent years left the Society with little option after foot and mouth disease, blue tongue and bad weather saw the event fail to attract the necessary numbers of visitors.
“Picture the scene: southern Spain, air temperature 25 degrees C. The sun in a cloudless sky, and five friends sitting down to an early afternoon picnic. The wine flows, Spanish meats, cheeses and vegetables are plentiful. We’ve had a great morning fishing on the river and we’ve got plans for the afternoon.
At the start of 2009, the Kennel Club announced the results of its review of all Breed Standards to ensure that all dogs are healthy, of good temperament and fit for their original function.
Momentum following this announcement has continued with the Kennel Club meeting with various breed clubs and councils to discuss dog health, and to ensure that pedigree dogs have the best chance of living happy, healthy lives.
Decisions about animal diseases would be handled by an independent body if proposals announced for consultation by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn today are approved.
A new independent board would be established to make decisions about animal health policy and delivery, Mr Benn explained. It would be formed of members with knowledge and skills in the livestock industry, animal health science and welfare and relevant public health, consumer and wildlife issues.
“In my last blog, I was explaining why fishing is so much fun and a recent sunny, Spring Sunday really confirmed that for me. It was my great pleasure to act as guide to two brothers, Aaron and Reece, and their granddad at the Kingfisher Lake in mid-Norfolk. Our targets were simple: a fish bigger than seven ounces for fifteen-year-old Aaron and one topping two pounds for thirteen-year-old Reece.
“Once upon a time, there were ghillies. They originated in Ireland and Scotland and their functions were fairly rudimentary – they would row boats, land fish and give basic advice. They were to talk when talked to, but generally be seen rather than heard. Ghillying, back then, was all about the master and his man; the class divide.
Guiding is a different matter. Today, the guide gives total, constant, hands-on advice and is an equal partner for the day. He or she is a friend, a confidante, a fixer who can wring every bit of pleasure out of time at the waterside.
Representatives from the farming industry have met with Environment Secretary Hilary Benn to discuss skills training, H&C has learned.
The meeting was convened by Mr Benn to discuss how to improve access to training for modern day farming.
Speaking at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, Mr Benn said: “Developing skills for agriculture and horticulture is a real priority for both industry and Government. Farming is by nature a skilled profession, but more can and should be done to keep the industry challenging and competitive.”
Anglers will no longer be able to sell salmon or sea trout which they catch on rod and line, and all commercially caught fish will have to be tagged to make them legally saleable, following the introduction of a new Environment Agency byelaw bringing England and Wales in line with Scottish law, H&C has learned.
The carcass tagging of commercially caught fish goes a step further than Scotland’s rules, and mirrors the successful initiative run for several years in Ireland.
Situated in one of the busiest and most populated areas in Europe, the pressures on the South Downs have been acknowledged for decades, and the possibility of creating a National Park in the South Downs was first proposed over 60 years ago.
Today the Government’s announcement of a new South Downs National Park met with widespread support from campaigners, concluding ten years of discussion about its boundaries.
The South Downs comprises the East Hampshire and Sussex Downs Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty running from Eastbourne to Winchester.
“We’re flat out at the Mullenscote Training Kennels, with some really lovely young dogs in for training. We have a young Labrador pup called Razz that is showing some promise and he’s certainly an interesting dog to work with. This youngster is about as ‘hot’ as any young puppy we’ve ever worked with. If we ever manage to harness his enthusiasm and energy, I’m sure we will have a really special gundog. If we don’t get it right, he will become a hooligan.