Farmers appear to have mixed views about the countryside documentary, The Lie of the Land, screened on Channel 4 on Thursday, 3 May.
Writing on FWi’s Food For Thought blog, Carey Marks said: “My congratulations to Molly Dineen for making a thoroughly engaging, infuriating and shocking documentary. By her non-intervention she allows the narrative to unfold naturally and without a hint of contolled ‘direction’.
Ian Shears agreed: “The Lie of the Land was a superb programme. I expected it to be a typical stich up job of British farming but Molly Dineen did a fantastic job of filming the realities of farming in the UK today.
Surely this documentary could be developed into a series ,which would be incredibly valuable in educating the public about what actually goes on in the countryside.”
But other people have been less convinced. Writing on the forums, clodhopper said: “I doubt if most people watched beyond the point where the first calf was killed. The majority prefer their meat to be cheap & pre-packed, and the countryside to be a pretty place full of fluffy little animals.”
The programme – filmed in 2005 – followed three farmers as they went about their daily routine and discussed the problems they face.
As part of that, viewers saw calfs being shot because of low prices and a cow being culled because it would not be economic to pay the vet’s bill to treat it.
In an interview on Radio 4s Woman’ Hour show (click link to listen) the documentary maker Molly Dineen said that some of the things she had seen were “deeply depressing” but they were happening because of the way people now shopped and ate.
A journalist from the Daily Telegraph who has seen a preview said that it should be renamed The Killing Fields but it was “important to watch”.