Just what does the next century of farming really look like?

01 July 2019

Urban vegetable towers, cows in nappies and robots as a regular feature in our rural fields – these were just some of an eclectic mix of ideas and visions of Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire’s faming future.

Our team of legal specialists were at the Lincolnshire Show where they invited guests to help complete a unique visual picture of what farming will look like in the next 150 years – which, in turn, helped to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society.

Engaging the services of a talented illustrator from Live Illustration, we created two striking storyboards, which contained the ideas of those who visited our marquee on both days of the show.

And, as you can see, the ideas were innovative…and most certainly ‘food for thought’. Here are the highlights of our visual future boards:

  • Water management. This issue was also highlighted by NFU Vice-President Stuart Roberts at his speech at the show, during which he called for the nation to be much bolder in its approach to water to protect rural land from extreme weather patterns;
  • Providing food for a growing urban population. How can the UK be innovative in increasing its food production in towns and cities? One visual on our illustration board revealed a guest’s idea to create ‘a neighbourhood veg growing tower’, with vegetables for sale grown on each floor;
  • Renewable energy, with the expansion of solar power, ground-source heating, eco businesses, carbon capture and organic materials being used for energy production. Our illustrator drew ‘cows in nappies’ – a humorous image to emphasise how organic matter can be gathered and utilised;
  • Local food for local people. There was a view that ‘small is sustainable’ and ensures full traceability of produce;
  • New technology, robotics and drones that will increasingly change the face of traditional agricultural methods;
  • Succession planning is vital as the sector looks to secure a future for the next generation;
  • The reform of agricultural tenancies. This month saw the end of public consultation on planned changes which, if implemented, will signal a reform of the present agricultural tenancy law.

Agricultural property Partner James Lloyd and Senior Solicitor Amy Slocombe Smith are Beverley-based and will be among our legal experts attending the 2019 Driffield Show, on Wednesday July 17 where they look forward to further debate on the country’s rural future. We look forward to seeing you there.


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