Members of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster from all over Northern Ireland gathered in Fermanagh at the weekend to take part in the filming of series three of BBC NI’s ‘Home Ground’.
Home Ground presenter Jo Scott learnt about the partnership that the YFCU has with Ulster Wildlife in the form of the ‘Grassroots Challenge’, an exciting youth empowerment initiative that provides young people with the skills, knowledge and confidence to give nature a helping hand in their local communities, through the delivery of ‘wild idea’ projects.
One of the initiatives that interested Home Ground was the involvement of young farmers in the annual scything of two wildflower-rich meadows in Enniskillen, which had been restored into wildlife havens through Ulster Wildlife’s ‘Save our Magnificent Meadows’ project.
The young farmers were joined by Ulster Wildlife’s Giles Knight, Grassland Conservation Officer and scything expert Neal Foulkes, who gave a demonstration on this traditional and time-honoured skill as the pictures show allowed the young farmers to give it a go themselves.
Home Ground presenter Jo Scott said: “I was delighted to be able to join young farmers from across Northern Ireland as they participated in the Grassroots Challenge. This unique partnership between the YFCU and Ulster Wildlife really highlights the importance of the farming community and conservation groups working together to enhance the environment around us.
“Events run by Ulster Wildlife really make you think about the natural world at our feet and the simple ways we can all help to improve it. The young people taking part in the scything event could not have made us more welcome and it was a pleasure to meet James Speers; a great ambassador for the Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster. The scything itself was a lot harder than it looked, but I think all those that took part had a very enjoyable time and learnt a lot from it.”
YFCU President James Speers added: “It’s great that the YFCU will be featuring in the next series of Home Ground. The programme celebrates the richness of rural life in Northern Ireland and so it was a great opportunity for the YFCU to be a part of filming and showcase the partnership between ourselves and Ulster Wildlife in the form of the Grassroots Challenge. This is a very important partnership for us as it allows our rural members to develop their environmental skills and knowledge to improve the environment around them. Today’s scything event was not only great fun but hopefully got young farmers thinking about how a greater balance with nature can be achieved through more modern agricultural practices.”
Home Ground returns to BBC One Northern Ireland for series three on Monday, September 4.