Rot and decay are life giving​ processes, and environments without these processes are ultimately doomed – The Property Chronicle
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Rot and decay are life giving​ processes, and environments without these processes are ultimately doomed

The Farmer

There are two types of invertebrate on our farm that I refer to as “the enemy”. They are the fly and the liver fluke, one an external parasite and the other an internal one, each the bane of the health of our cattle and sheep across the Pevensey marshlands. We have over 150 species of fly on the farm, and more than 20 species of snail that play host to stages of the liver fluke cycle. As invertebrate populations across the globe are crashing, horrifyingly quantified by Francisco Sanchez-Bayo and Kris Wyckhuys in the February journal of Biological Conservation, I find myself reviewing our own farm practices. This summer we shall remove the low-volume dose deltamethrin insecticide from the cattle and replace with garlic. The sheep policy will also be reviewed, for, despite already being an organic system our stock rely on medicinal parasiticides. While generations of farmers have spent their lives reducing insect burdens on their holdings, mine will be the first to seek to travel in the other direction.






The Farmer

About Martin Hole

Martin Hole

Martin Hole farms at Montague on the wetlands of the Pevensey Levels in East Sussex. Part family-owned and part rented, the 300ha organic enterprise provides a home to about 150 cattle and nearly 2,000 head of sheep, with a small diversification into residential property and a fledgling green tourism business. A former RSPB UK Lapwing Champion, Martin remains fascinated by the provision of wilderness whilst trying to keep the farm intact for three daughters.

Articles by Martin Hole

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