Comment – Nature Conservation and Arable Farming
Farming occupies over 75% of the British countryside and is central to the rural economy, landscape and nature conservation. Since man first began to clear the ancient wildwood over 5,000 years ago, farming has shaped our countryside and the wildlife that depends on it. Today, about 30% of all farmland is arable land which is cultivated on an annual basis to grow crops. This covers over 4 million hectares, 16 times the area of nature reserves (RSPB 1992).