Farmer Focus: Facing water restrictions on the farm

All of the rain that we had in the last week of May made it the wettest month for two years. That’s not a particular problem here on the Brecklands but it did make setting up a stand for the Suffolk County Show a bit tricky.

Thanks to the incredibly light land at the showground and good organisation, the show excelled and we won a prize for our stand. Thanks to the efforts of all of our helpers, we passed on the positive message that farming has to offer.

There are not many shows that can go on a day after more than 75mm (3in) of rain. The poor men in sandals digging out the archaeological finds on the site of the new reservoir also got a shock.

The site flooded and they had to stop digging. It is actually taking quite a bit of drying out, but hopefully this means there is plenty of clay there to help in lining the new structure.

I do hope that the recently relocated great crested newts (my slippery little pals) didn’t get too wet in their new surroundings.

After a recent NFU water resources group meeting with the Environment Agency, more questions have been raised on the sense of European rules and regulations, this time the Water Framework Directive and the potential threat to water supplies in this region.

Suddenly, we have been informed that we could face almost immediate restrictions on the water that we rely on.

Back at home we are very much looking forward to mid-June when we have four farm tours in the space of a week. I hope that everyone is looking forward to meeting my slippery little pals and enjoying the delights of a locally produced hog roast.

Unfortunately, we will have to manage these tours without the help of Sam Summers, our assistant farm manager, who is not only getting married and moving house, but is leaving us to move out into deepest, darkest Norfolk. Good luck, Sam.

Andrew Blenkiron manages the 4,400ha Euston Estate, south of Thetford. Principal farm enterprises are combinable and root crops, including sugar beet. In addition the estate supports let land, sheep, outdoor pigs, poultry, suckler cows, horses and stewardship