COP26: Fife farmer highlights impact of climate change on Scottish farming

Fife farmer has spoken out on climate change’s effect in Scotland as he champions ‘regenerative agricultural techniques’ as COP26 continues.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 11:37 am

Matt Waldie who manages the Gilston Mains farm just outside of Leven, says he has witnessed the full impact climate change has had in Scotland.

He spoke out on the change Scottish farming has seen due to climate change, he said in a statement:

He said: “We've seen first hand, land that hasn't been farmed particularly well or too intensively, and there's a real impact on the ground.

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Matt Waldie

“That gave us a bit of a wake up call, and we decided that we need to really be looking at what we're doing.

“My grandfather once said that they ‘don't make land anymore so you've got to look after it’.

“I think especially in farming there's not going to be a quick fix."

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Mr Waldie is now fully committed to ‘regenerative agriculture’, a form of farming that aims to enhance the land rather than ruining the health of the soil.

The fourth-generation Fife farmer, originally from Colinsburgh, grows oats on his 3000 acre farm - assisting the Quaker brand in serving 10 million bowls of porridge to the UK every year.

He went on to talk about the link between the environment and farming, he states:

“Everything takes a long time and environment and farming are kind of linked in a way. Farming is a slow process.

“You need to plant a seed and it's not ready within a week, you know, it's a whole year.

“And the environment is similar: smaller small changes over time will make a big difference but we're not going to be able to flick a switch and sort out climate issues straight away.”

Due to the changes in environment, he has had to change the way he farms the land, he states:

“When I grew up on the farm, the seasons were very predictable so yes, summer was warm and dry with a bit of rain.

“The seasons were predictable but since I've started farming myself, we just get massive extremes now.

“It's becoming very extreme, which is part of reason we've shifted our whole farming system, because our window for crop production from sowing to harvest is all very tight.”

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