Julia Hailes MBE

Sustainability Pioneer


No Fence Farming in Romania (May23)

We cycled for over 100 miles and didn’t go through a gate.  The Transylvanian landscape was without fences, hedges, or ditches.   Travelling by train across Europe to get to Romania the lack of fences signalled an entirely different type of farming.  In this case, there were huge ploughed fields or monoculture crops stretching into […]

Wild about Knepp (May22)

My trip to Knepp was a revelation.  For those who do not know this 3500-acre estate, in East Sussex, is leading the way in Rewilding.   Isabella Tree and her ground-breaking book, ‘Wilding’ has become so famous that Netflix is making a docudrama about her and her husband Charlie Burrell. With actors playing the younger […]

Farmers Must STOP Killing Earth (Dec20)

Why are most rivers brown or red? A soupy earthy colour.  It’s because they are draining the life blood of our planet away – soil. It’s crumbling, melting and disintegrating into the water and being swept out to sea, never to return. It has to stop. It’s disastrous. And there’s a better way…  I remember […]

Scorched earth in Sicily (Oct20)

What a beautiful time of year to come to this island perched on Italy’s toe.  We were lucky to have clear blue skies and the trees were turning gold. One of the most striking things about the island is the number of wind turbines on nearly every horizon.  I rather like them both visually and […]

Speaking on Plastics at Trill Farm (SEP18)

“A quick but very heartfelt thank you for giving Trill such a good talk last Friday. It was a great evening with a really thoughtful and illuminating talk ( as well as good fun) and very much appreciated by everybody.” Romy Fraser, Trill Farm

Behind the scenes at McDonalds (Jun10)

It wasn’t ‘Old McDonald had a farm’. Actually, the farm belonged to the Duchy of Cornwall although it was being run by farmer, Richard Hoskins. Near Dorchester, almost over-looking the Prince of Wales new town of Poundbury, the beef farm turned out to be a key supplier for McDonalds. The expedition was the first of […]

Food Innovation (Sep09)

The Food Ethics Council Business Forum meeting focussed on radical innovation.  I was chairing the session with a presentation from Sander Mager, Programme Manager at the groundbreaking Dutch technology incubator TransForum – a quango supporting projects ranging from closed-loop farming to producer-managed supermarkets.  

Pig heaven (Jun09)

A friend of mine called Sarah has bought three not so little piglets. They’re only 9 weeks old but already quite porky. They’re also rather endearing and very friendly – snuffling and snorting around their wooded enclosure. One of the piglets has been nick-named ‘rotavator’ because he seems to be particularly good at turning over […]

Summer produce (Jul08)

The weekend wasn’t glorious – certainly not the weather anyway. But I’ve been really enjoying the delicious summer produce, either from my wonderful food delivery service – Somerset Local Food Direct, from my mother’s garden or from our local pick your own. On Saturday night I had 15 people to supper. We started with broad […]

Happy as a pig in mud (Jul07)

The bacon tasted really good. The superior rashers accompanied seared scallops – a first course served by the Royal Oak pub in Bishopstone. I was having dinner with fellow members of the Food Ethics Council after a trip to see Helen Browning’s happy organic pigs. It was their cousins I was eating for dinner. It […]