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Blur star joins Christian Aid campaign

Alex James, farmer, writer, broadcaster and former Blur band member, is joining forces with international development agency Christian Aid to help highlight the plight of farmers on the frontline of climate change in developing countries at the Royal Show (3-6July) at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire.

The charity will create a small piece of Burkina Faso, West Africa, in the Flowers, Gardening & Horticulture area, showcasing how farmers in sub-Saharan Africa are adapting to the devastating effects of an increasingly unpredictable climate.

The garden will demonstrate simple soil and water conservation techniques being taught to farmers in order to help them combat the ever present threat from drought and floods.  It will look at the use of natural fertilisers, bio pesticides and planting techniques used to help them grow more crops to feed their families.

Small scale livestock breeding projects are helping poor farmers to diversify and increase their household income, allowing kids to attend school and families to gain access to vital medical care.

The garden will also show how Christian Aid is working with remote communities, who until now have had no access to electricity, to harness new solar technologies.

Alex, who will travel to Burkina Faso with Christian Aid at the beginning of May to visit the projects said: ‘As a working farmer, I am fascinated to see how agriculture in Burkina Faso compares with the structure of farms in the UK. I’m looking forward to exchanging ideas and techniques, learning how farmers there are dealing with the challenges presented by climate change and then bringing this back to the Royal Show audience.’

Christian Aid will be using the garden to highlight its Climate Changed campaign www.christianaid.org.uk/climate and raise vital funds for climate related projects across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Karen Hedges, Christian Aid, said: ‘Farmers in the UK are increasingly facing changing weather patterns and having to adapt their practices accordingly, as are the eighty percent of subsistence farmers in Burkina Faso.  These changes have devastating consequences when you make your living from the land, no matter where you live, and Christian Aid is keen to encourage the sharing of ideas and new technologies for combating the increasing threat of an unpredictable climate.’

Tickets for the Royal Show are available from 20 March at www.christianaid.org.uk/climate with 10 per cent of the cover price going to Christian Aid when booked through its website.  If you are interested in keeping up-to-date with the Christian Aid Climate Changed campaign then become a fan of the Cut the Carbon Facebook group.

ENDS

For further press information, or to arrange an interview with Alex James, contact Karen Hedges on +44 (0) 20 7523 2404 email khedges@christian-aid.org or Emma Wigley on +44 (0) 20 7523 2452 email ewigley@christian-aid.org.

Notes to editor

Christian Aid is an international development agency working in 50 countries with people of all religions and none.
The Royal Show is organised by the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE). RASE is an independent charity with over 6,000 members including the general public and the farming community. RASE works towards a sustainable, vibrant future for British Agriculture and the rural community