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Climate change + wine quality


Hello Mark C. Thank you for taking the trouble of posting a reply. As a child, I remember my parents had a grapevine with everything inside the greenhouse, except the root which went through the wall and planted outside.

I do agree that wine growers want natural light, natural heat and natural rain. So does much of the rest of society. For example, I don’t care for battery-reared chickens. Vegetables, including fruit, taste better if grown outside. As Inbar says, wine is a luxury product. Its manufacture could be construed, by some, as an extravagance.

Whilst urbanisation is unstoppable, I still prefer green fields to motorways.


I live in a small town in North Norfolk. It’s an overwhelmingly arable landscape, with very large fields (15 to 40 acres? Not sure.) They tend to grow wheat, barley, peas, sugar beet, potatoes, rape seed. The small towns are adding housing estates on their edges, typically taking one of these fields and a contractor will put in 200 or 300 housing units. They also agree to put in a one acre allotment area, social housing, playground, that type of amenity.

In terms of wildlife, the environment must be must richer after than before. An arable field is a totally unfriendly desert. Houses and gardens are a mixed blessing, but for birds and insects, provide all kinds of nesting sites, bird feeders, patches of nettles, nectar bearing flowers etc.


Dear Robin,

It’s ironic that the county renowned for bird protection is also the county for an industrial scale of prairie farming. Of course this style of farming is remunerative for the farmer who pays little attention to his surroundings. For me, countryside of hedgerows, trees and ponds is more attractive than a faceless farmer’s bank account.

I accept some development in Norfolk towns, such as yours, is necessary and even desirable. But 300 extra houses is surely overwhelming. I particularly dislike names like Garden Cities. Milton Keynes was a delightful village until the developers moved in.


Oi oi! Don’t knock Milton Keynes