Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mosquito Farming and Feral Camels

The ever-so eco-fashionable have set out to turn a large chunk of our county’s fens over to swamp and meadow. Tony Juniper, Cambridge’s Green Candidate, praises “the ambitious vision to return intensively farmed land back to native wetlands”.
This is romantic but it is also wrong.

Having lived in Cambridgeshire for my adult life, I am astonished that the blood and toil expended over the centuries in this county to provide food for our nation counts for nothing in the eyes of the Greens.

They lecture us on locally sourced food but want to deprive us of land from one of the major sources.

If they get their mosquito farm, they won’t allow the traditional fen food to be hunted – eels and water fowl were fair game when our predecessors were searching for sustenance.

Furthermore, the animals that they promise to put in are Highland cattle and Konik ponies. Er, neither Scottish cows nor Polish horses are native to the fens…. (While Scottish prisoners of war were forced to build fenland dykes, no Scottish cattle contributed to the digging or were harmed in the process).

If there were an over-riding and practical reason for scrapping the farmland, at the request of the Drainage Boards for example, then I would reconsider. However this looks like yet another urban attempt to dictate life and livelihoods in the countryside – I write as a Cambridge resident here, stirring with my own urban wooden spoon.

And if Mr Juniper wants to cut down on greenhouse gasses then I suggest he shoots a few feral camels in Australia. Culling the one million feral camels that currently roam the outback would be equivalent to taking 300,000 cars off the road.

Credit to
Maurice van Bruggen for the photo


  1. As a Scot I love Highland cattle - I also love going to the Highlands to see them!

  2. It is also wrong to assume that the fens were ever "native wetlands". There has been management of the fens since before Roman times. It is all in the archeological record. All the yoghurt-knitters wish to do is to revert to the state of the fens in the Dark Ages. Perhaps they'd like the water supply to go back to then too? Cholera anyone?