Farming Patterns

The British Isles contain many different landscapes.

Some areas are low and flat for miles, but others are high with steep slopes making it difficult to use tractors and other machinery.

The areas to the west of the islands tend to have more rain.

That’s good for growing things, but more rain means less sunshine for ripening crops.

You’ve probably already guessed that most of the arable farming is found in the flatter, sunnier areas on the east side.

Plenty of rain in the west means plenty of grass growth, providing pasture for animals.  But which animals are found where?

Dairy cows are farmed for their milk production.  They are milked every day and this needs to be taken and used fairly quickly before it goes bad.  The farms need to be accessible to the milk tankers and close to good transport routes to towns and cities.  Thus, you are unlikely to find a large dairy herd up a remote valley, in the middle of a hilly area.

You may still see cows in more remote areas.  However, they are likely to be beef cattle, farmed for their meat.  And if it is a hilly area, the cows will probably be down in the valleys where the land is flatter because they are big animals and don’t cope with steep slopes as well as…

 

…sheep!

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you won’t find crops in the west or animals in the east and there are mixed farms all over the country.  However, land and climate do help determine the type of farming that is most practical and most profitable in an area.