Farming Talk with Mike Taylor

Last Wednesday, just before lockdown, I went to see some clients in Suffolk, not my usual stomping ground, but like a bad penny, I occasionally crop up in some unusual places.

Suffolk is rather different to Shropshire. For a start it has a coastline and with this a major port. Felixstowe is a massive container port handling half of the UK’s container traffic and just at the moment it is particularly visible with two massive towers for the construction of off-shore wind turbines. Suffolk is rather more populous than Shropshire with almost twice as many inhabitants, largely because Ipswich is twice the population of Shrewsbury and the second town of Lowestoft is a similar size to Shrewsbury. In terms of similarities, it is also a largely farming a county, but without the rainfall and uplands of Shropshire, farming is mainly arable. It therefore relies very heavily on irrigation and is leading the way with East Suffolk Water Sensitive Farming Initiative offering advice and substantial grants for water management. Whilst we are not short of water in Shropshire for most of the year it often comes at the wrong times and this is an issue many of my clients closer to home are battling with.

Mike Taylor BSc (Hons) FRICS, FAAV, FNAEA is Senior Partner with Barbers Rural Consultancy LLP and can be contacted on 01630 692500 or

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