The Big Freeze of 1962-63: the loss of livestock, the issue of fodder supply and the problem of the commons in two upland hill-farming regions in England and Wales

James Bowen, Martin John

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article explores the impact of the extreme winter of 1962-63 on two upland hill-farming areas: the Cambrian Mountains area of Breconshire, Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire in mid-Wales, and Dartmoor in Devon and parts of south-west England more generally. Based on the detailed study of Ministry of Agriculture, Farming, and Fisheries (MAFF) files held at the National Archives, supplemented with material from the National Meteorological Library and Archive, Hansard (Parliamentary Debates) and the farming press, it provides a detailed analysis of the impact of the winter showing how it adversely affected these two upland areas and provoked political debate. The way in which the effects of the winter contrasted with the previous extreme winter of 1946-47 is considered. It argues that, by 1962-63, upland farmers were better equipped to deal with the effects of extreme winters and the Government had learnt important policy lessons from previous experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-260
Number of pages35
JournalAgricultural History Review
Volume64
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

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