Thursday, 7 March 2013

Nuffield Pre Contemporary Scholars Conference -London

Our Nuffield adventure has finally begun.  After weeks of preparation, excitement, nervousness and apprehension we are finally together in London and our study tour is underway.  After meeting up last night for a drink or two in the bar at The Union Jack Club it was an early start this morning to head to the House of Lords to meet Baroness Byford.  Hazel; as we can now call her, gave us an excellent insight into the roles the Lords have to play in the law making process in this country.  It's job that they have for life, no retirement the only way out is illness or death!  Hazel managed to squeeze us all into the house viewing gallery to listen and watch the daily questions from the peers.  This was interesting enough until the first debate started, at which point 60% of the peers got up and left the house.  We all thought this was a little odd, but I guess if you're not interested in the topic and you could be doing something more positive then fair point, but it must be a bit depressing if you are giving the talk and the majority of people get up and walk out!  The building was incredible, steeped in history and very calming.  Unfortunately we couldn't take any pictures so if you are anywhere near, do try and go along. 

 After the House of Lords we headed off to the Farmers club, a short walk away, to listen to a short speech from Lord De Mauley.  It left us a little wanting in answers which was a shame really.  During lunch His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester spent an hour and a half talking to us in small groups about our various study topics.  I have to say what a great man, very knowledgeable, interested, funny and full of enthusiasm for Nuffield and for the opportunity we all have before us.
After our lunch we headed back to the Union Jack Club for our afternoon session run by Adam West from Natural England all about how valuing and promoting what farmers do for the environment - can we do better?.  We split up into groups to work on various questions.  Adam was aided by Guy Smith, Pol Christenson and David Gardner who all gave an insight into where they saw the industry interacting with our customers.
It was a long day, nicely rounded off in a pub round the corner with some great company.  

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