Podcasts

We have our very own podcast where hosts Ben Eagle and Will Evans meet nature-friendly farmers across the UK. Listen to their stories of how they’re safeguarding the future of UK agriculture. In a collaboration with 8point9.com we also bring you Wheat from the Chaff, a weekly podcast hosted by ffinlo Costain, Editor-in-Chief of 8.9ha, and Phil Carson, NFFN’s UK Policy Lead. Together they talk through the big land use news on 8.9ha.

Series 1

Episode 14

Wheat from the chaff: Liver fluke, Labour ahead in the countryside, and special guest, Niels Corfield

This week’s discussion focuses on liver fluke parasites, legal action over River Why pollution, housing developments & Biodiversity Net Gain, and the battle for the countryside vote. Regenerative farming expert, Niels Corfield, also joins the conversation.

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Series 1

Episode 13

Wheat from the Chaff podcast: Scottish funding, National Parks and special guest, Rachel Jones

Phil and ffinlo chew through the week's land news, and talk to special guest, Rachel Jones (Sustain), about local food.

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Series 1

Episode 12

Wheat from the Chaff – Euro protests, high tech hedgerows and special guest, Rhys Evans, from NFFN Wales

NFFN Cymru’s Rhys Evans is the special guest for this week’s episode. Rhys discusses SFS payments and the scheme’s stance on woodland creation. Phil and ffinlo cover lots of ground, including the importance of hedgerows, safeguarding British food standards and the EU farming protests.

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Series 1

Episode 11

Wheat from the Chaff – With special guest, Stephen Alexander, Chair of NFFN Northern Ireland

Farming in Northern Ireland is a focal point for this week’s episode. Phil and ffinlo discuss NFFN NI’s four-point plan to back nature-friendly farming, with NFFN NI Chair Stephen Alexander. They also talk about NI facing a “public health emergency” in relation to access to veterinary medicines. They round the programme off with two big news items around climate change and biodiversity loss. Listen to all this and more over at 8.9ha’s Farm Gate.

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Series 1

Episode 10

Wheat From the Chaff – With special guest: Rob Havard, Phepson Angus

The podcast duo delve into the public’s support nature-friendly farming, a new farming toolkit to help understand nature markets, and the need for a whole-sector approach to build resilience in the UK dairy sector. Special guest Rob Havard also joins Phil and ffinlo, where they discuss regenerative beef cattle breeding.

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Series 1

Episode 9

Wheat from the Chaff – With special guest, Clare Hill from Planton Farm

Phil and ffinlo discuss revolutionary soil health assessments, Roots to Regeneration (a programme to speed-up the transition to regenerative agriculture), which special guest Clare Hill of Planton Farm introduces, the end of cross compliance and a boost to SFI payments. Listen to this and much more over at 8.9ha’s Farm Gate.

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Series 1

Episode 8

Wheat from the Chaff: Tree equity, Commoning and Nature as infrastructure

Phil and ffinlo open the episode by pulling a virtual Christmas cracker, it’s amusing! They quickly move on to discuss the latest land use news, including Patrick Holden’s (Sustainable Food Trust’s CEO) optimism following COP28, defining ‘Nature as Infrastructure’, grass measuring reducing input costs, and much more.

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Series 1

Episode 7

Wheat from the Chaff: Parliamentary push back, UK obesity & Migration

In this week’s episode, Phil and ffinlo discuss a clash of world views, the cost of poor food quality, COP28 and the Elders’ call for action, and migration. Plus lots more land use news.

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Series 1

Episode 6

Wheat from the Chaff: COP28, Greenwash & Insects as livestock

COP28 is the focus of discussion this week for Phil and ffinlo – including subjects such as King Charles’s call for investment in regenerative agriculture, greenwashing and what the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy looks like.

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Series 1

Episode 5

Wheat from the Chaff: Adaptation, Sitka & Buried EA report

The main topics of conversation this week are the Environment Agency’s report on toxic sludge being spread on farmland, the High Court’s damming judgment on the Water Framework Directive, conflict over the demand for land, self-inflicted scientific censorship, and a brief policy round-up.

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Series 1

Episode 4

Wheat from the Chaff: UPFs, peak nitrogen and a new Secretary of State

The big stories discussed this week are the new Defra Secretary, sustainable food security and the Wildlife Trust’s list of Government failings on nature.

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Series 1

Episode 3

Wheat from the Chaff: Forest ecosystem collapse

Phil and ffinlo discuss a new report which shifts focus from food system emissions to fossil-fuel reliance, a paper about the number of historic herbivore densities being substantially higher than thought, and what this means in terms of policy, and finally, the prediction of UK forests facing ecosystem collapse. Plus their news picks of the week.

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Series 3

Episode 9

Farmers and Facilitators: How you can tackle the climate crisis on a local level

Produced in association with FWAG, in this episode Ben and Will are joined by FWAG's Jenny Phelps as well as Fiona Galbraith and Ian Simpson to discuss how local facilitators can bring farmers, local people and organisations together to tackle environmental and climate issues on a local level. In this bonus episode we focus on the question of how best to tackle the big climate issues of our time on a practical local level? Hosts Will Evans and Ben Eagle are joined by three guests – Jenny Phelps MBE who is Senior Farm Conservation Adviser at FWAG; Fiona Galbraith who is the Founding Director of RuralLink which helps people get into land based careers as well as a former Project Lead for the GREAT Project on Rural Facilitators, Mentors and New Entrants; and Ian Simpson who is a founder member of the community led Bledington Flood Group, committed to preventing flooding in Bledington, a Cotswold village on the border of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.

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Series 1

Episode 2

Wheat from the Chaff: Soil, Livestock, Fabrics

Phil and ffinlo talk through the week’s news over at 8point9.com. Their main conversations centre around the EU Soil Health Law, the Dublin Declaration and the demand for sustainable fabrics.

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Series 1

Episode 1

New podcast: Wheat from the Chaff

This is the first episode of a new podcast collaboration between 8point9.com and the NFFN. Wheat from the Chaff (WFTC) is a discussion between ffinlo Costain, Editor-in-Chief of 8.9ha, and Phil Carson, NFFN UK Policy Lead.

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Series 3

Episode 8

A Prosperous Farming Future

Ben and Will are joined by Sue Pritchard, Chief Executive of The Food Farming & Countryside Commission (FFCC). Sue has also been an organic livestock farmer at Llananant Farm in the heart of Monmouthshire, Wales for over twenty years, where she has a herd of Hereford suckler cattle that she uses to produce high-quality, pasture-fed beef. This episode focuses on the final section of the Nature Friendly Farming Network’s Rethink Farming report: Prosperity. Sue also shares her opinions and experiences on valuing a “generative” mindset over an “extractive” mindset to help run a flourishing, profitable and sustainable farming business that reduces reliance on fluctuating input prices, while nourishing the environment that feeds into it.

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Series 3

Episode 7

Landscape Approaches: Farming Together For Bigger, Better Outcomes

Ben and Will are joined by Jenny Phelps MBE who is a senior farm conservation advisor for the Gloucestershire Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) and guest lecturer at the Royal Agricultural University. This big picture thinking episode looks at managing land across the wider landscape and Jenny shares her experience of how landscape-scale projects rely on local communities and their resource, knowledge and connectivity to the land.

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Series 3

Episode 6

Working with the Landscape

Ben and Will head to Aberdeenshire to speak to first-generation farmer, grazier and NFFN Scotland Steering Group member Nikki Yoxall. From agroecology to agroforestry, Nikki shares how an agroecological approach can go beyond food production and how building community can help manage a wider landscape. Nikki also talks about her introduction to holistic farm management as the gateway to owning Shetland heifers through pasture-fed, low-input systems and her experience of entering the sector as a new entrant farmer.

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Series 3

Episode 5

Keeping it Local

Ben and Will head to County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, to talk about all aspects of food quality with farmer, Helen Keys, and to hear about her exciting business, SourceGrow, a platform that helps farmers decide what to grow and supports local by allowing restaurants to find suppliers. Helen also shares how she, and her partner, Charlie, are working to restore locally-grown textiles by bringing Irish linen back to its roots.

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Series 3

Episode 4

Keeping Nature in the Family

In this episode, Ben & Will speak with Aylwin Pillai, an environmental lawyer and partner in family-run Kinclune Estate and Organic Farm in Angus, Scotland. Aylwin shares her family’s farming history, their agroecological approach, why she’s an activist for nature-friendly farming & the important role small farms have in advocating for changes in land use. She shares how Kinclune is tackling climate change, biodiversity restoration and carbon emissions through a holistic approach that includes woodland maintenance, agroforestry and conservation grazing.

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Series 3

Episode 3

A Wake Up Call

In this episode, we focus on the water section of NFFN’s ‘Rethink Farming’ report by speaking to Sam Kenyon in North Wales. Sam farms next to the River Elway in Denbighshire and we hear all about how she’s taking a proactive and nature-friendly approach to water management, and how farmers should be planning for a changing climate.

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Series 3

Episode 2

It's a Can of Worms

For World Soil Day, Ben and Will are digging into all things SOIL with William Scale, a farmer with 20 years experience of no-tillage farming in Pembrokeshire. They dive into the ground beneath our feet through stories of William’s farming and why his ecological approach to land management matters to soil function.

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Series 3

Episode 1

If You Build It, They Will Come

The NFFN podcast is back! And for the first episode of series three, Ben and Will talk to arable farmer and NFFN steering group member, Patrick Barker, all about the incredible range of environmental measures he and his cousin Brian have put in place on their farm, why it’s so important that farmers engage with the public, and the what’s, why’s, and how’s of NFFN’s new report and campaign ‘Rethink Farming: A Practical Guide for Farming, Nature and climate’ which we’ll be exploring throughout this series. All this, and lots more!

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Series 2

Episode 8

The Isle of Diversification

In this final episode of the second series of the podcast Ben Eagle and Will Evans meet Anthony Curwen who is Managing Director of Quex Park in Kent. They learn about how Anthony’s business changed from a large-scale vegetable operation to a fully diversified estate including multiple diversifications on top of the arable business.

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Series 2

Episode 7

Nothing is off limits

In this episode Ben and Will are once again visiting Scotland to speak to farmer and conservationist Michael Clarke in Dumfriesshire. They hear all about his long journey into farming in his own right, the incredible range of measures he’s taken to improve biodiversity on his farm, and what the Scottish Government should be doing to support nature friendly farming.

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Series 2

Episode 6

In Clover We Trust

In our latest podcast episode Ben and Will head to north Wales to speak to Gethin Owen who farms 150 acres near to the coast there. Among other things they discuss the benefits of leaving winter stubbles and growing red clover.

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Series 2

Episode 5

Hope for the Future

Hosts Ben and Will once again head over to beautiful Northern Ireland to talk to arable farmer David Sandford about his lifetime of effort to improve nature and biodiversity on his farm on the shores of Strangford Lough, some of the highly prestigious awards he’s won, and why he’s hopeful for the future.

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Series 2

Episode 4

Above us only Skye

Hosts Ben Eagle and Will Evans meet NFFN’s Scotland Vice-Chair Phil Knott and learn about crofting and Phil’s plan for the future as well as focusing on climate change resilience.

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Series 2

Episode 3

You’ve goat to be kidding me!

In this series we are focussing on the road to COP26 and speaking to farmers who are undertaking work to tackle the climate crisis in their own ways. In this episode Ben and Will head to Northern Ireland to talk to 1st generation farmer Charlie Cole to find out all about his incredibly diverse business, and how working with nature is central to everything he does.

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Series 2

Episode 2

Becoming a Climate Resilient Farm

In this series we are focusing on the road to COP26 and speaking to farmers who are undertaking work to tackle the climate crisis in their own ways. In this episode Ben and Will speak to Welsh farmer Tony Davies who transformed his business to focus on making it sustainable for the future in terms of climate and biodiversity but also looking to the opportunities available to ensure he remains profitable.

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Series 2

Episode 1

Connecting People, Nature, and Food

Where better to start the second series of the NFFN Podcast than with the man behind it all – Martin Lines? We discuss the changes he’s made on his farm in Cambridgeshire and how they’ve had a dramatically positive effect on nature and the profitability of his business, as well as how and why NFFN came about in the first place and where he’d like it to be in the future.

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Series 1

Episode 8

Nature: An enterprise in it’s own right

Hosts Ben Eagle and Will Evans travel to County Armagh in Northern Ireland to meet arable farmer Simon Best, where they talk about how he sells his crops to local businesses, how green waste and composting have dramatically improved his soils, environment schemes, carbon auditing, working with nature, and much more.

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Series 1

Episode 7

Native: Life in a Vanishing Landscape

Hosts Ben Eagle and Will Evans meet farmer, acclaimed author, and member of the NFFN Scotland steering group, Patrick Laurie, to talk all about his farm in Galloway, his deep connections to the area, his book ’Native – Life in a Vanishing Landscape’, and what nature means to him and his business.

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Series 1

Episode 6

Marginal Gains

In this episode hosts Ben Eagle and Will Evans meet Polly Davies and Graeme Wilson who run a mixed organic farm in South Wales. They manage several enterprises between them but would now rather focus on improving their current business rather than starting more enterprises, hence the search for ‘marginal gains’.

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Series 1

Episode 5

A Nature State of Mind

Hosts Ben Eagle and Will Evans meet multi-generation dairy farmer James Robinson, to talk all about his family business in south Cumbria, his huge social media following, and how he’s carrying on the tradition of enhancing the natural environment on his farm.

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Series 1

Episode 4

Farming meets Conservation in North Wales

Hosts Ben Eagle and Will Evans meet Hilary Kehoe, Chair of the Welsh steering group of the Nature Friendly Farming Network who farms 150ha across Gwynedd and Ynys Mon (Anglesey) both at home and on nature reserves across north west Wales.

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Series 1

Episode 3

Farming with Nature on the Emerald Isle

Hosts Ben Eagle and Will Evans meet Northern Ireland based Michael Meharg who farms Irish Moiled rare breed cattle on 250ha.

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Series 1

Episode 2

How do you simply measure nature on your farm?

Meet Denise Walton who is on the Scottish Steering Group of NFFN and farms with her family in the Scottish Borders.

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Series 1

Episode 1

Nature Means Business

We hope you enjoy our first podcast featuring farmer Chris Clark, England Chair of the NFFN.

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