Farmers on Film for South Downs Walkers
A series of interactive media links on the South Downs are enabling visitors to ‘meet’ the farmers who are protecting the unique habitats through which they are walking.
Walkers can find the video links displayed on plaques attached to gates and stiles. They are then able to ‘Meet the Farmer’ by watching short films about how each farm is managed.
The initiative, which began in 2018, is the result of an inspiring collaboration between the South Downs National Park Authority and the Eastern South Downs Farmers Group.
The project has proved to be very popular with walkers who have viewed the videos thousands of times on YouTube and through Twitter.
‘Never has there been a more important time for farmers along the South Downs to tell the visiting public about their role as custodians of our iconic landscape,’ says farmer, Annie Brown, who is part of the scheme.
‘This is a fabulous opportunity to highlight the fact that the South Downs is a managed landscape, and would not look as it does if the farmers were not here.’
Walkers are able to hear for themselves how passionate the farmers are about protecting and enhancing the unique wildlife habitats.
‘I really enjoy seeing how farming and conservation can sit neatly side by side,’ says another farmer, Ben Taylor. We can look after the environment and at the same time produce food for people.’
‘Ten years ago we didn’t have a great deal of birds, but we’ve now got 140 different species on the farm, and 35 are red-listed because they are so rare. It’s because of the environment they find that they are here.’