An Agricultural Geography of Great Britain. The Commonwealth by D. W. Gilchrist Shirlaw

By D. W. Gilchrist Shirlaw

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Extra info for An Agricultural Geography of Great Britain. The Commonwealth and International Library: Geography Division

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It is not surprising to find that areas of dairy farming have developed in the south west of Scotland, down the west coast of England particularly in the counties of Lancashire and Cheshire, in Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset and Central Devon. In other areas the proximity of industry has overridden the dictates of climate and given rise to intensive dairy farming ; such areas are found in parts of the north east of England and to the north and south of London.

T h e system known as barley-beef has made some impact on these farms ; this system will be described later. The returns from fattening cattle are generally small ; indeed it has been argued that this is one of the surest ways of losing money. Certainly if store cattle are bought and fattened inside, the level of profit will mainly depend on the skill of buying ; the profit in beef, so far as the farmer is concerned, appears to be mainly in rearing. It is impossible to give an average figure for the returns from a beef enterprise : some farmers are showing a profit of around £20 per head, others are making a loss.

As a result more breeding ewes are now left on higher hirsels than before and the highest hirsels have been abandoned. Today the major products of the hill farms are as follows : (a) Wether sheep. These are mainly store lambs, but some are sold fat from the better hills. (b) Cast ewes. These are sold at five or six years old for crossing at lower levels with the Border Leicester ram and the production of cross-bred ewe lambs. 31 32 The Farming Systems of Great Britain (c) Wool. T h e clip of a hill ewe is usually 1 -8-2-3 kilos.

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