Thursday, 17 November 2011

Whither FWAG, the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group?

Formed in 1969 by a forward thinking group of farmers and conservationists, including Eric Carter, FWAG ( has done a huge amount to integrate profitable farming with farm conservation in the UK over the past 40 years.  It is disturbing to hear that the organisation is likely to go into administration, with the potential loss of many excellent county advisors and their highly respected Technical Director, Jim Egan.  I am working with Jim on the multi-partner Campaign for the Farmed Environment (  and  can vouch for the drive and professionalism that FWAG brings to the partnership.  I also worked with a predecessor of his, Richard Knight, who instigated comprehensive evidence and technical support for the county advisors on the ground.  It would a real shame if this experience and excellence was lost at a time when there is no real agricultural extension service in the UK, but the need for sustainable production is probably at its most acute ever.  Can individual county groups rally to the cause, in the format that FWAG began in the 1970s?

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