Tag Archives: entrepreneurial activity

Land £ per ha

I am not sure that the puzzle of land prices can be sollved; why do people buy land?

I read an article recently, written by a land agent who was talking up the price of land. I found myself doubting it all and thinking of all sorts of reasons why the theme could not be right. Without doubt, there will be fluctuations and some of any such changes may be painful. I did, however, remember two quotations from a long time ago;

  • Farm land is still cheaper than carpet.
  • Land – they have stopped making it.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd,   1st May18

I can’t be bothered

On 20th February, BBC 1, Points West, reported on Prince Charles visiting the British Army Rapid Reaction Force in which around half the members are soldiers and other service personnel from other countries.  The visitors were about to go home and several were asked what they would miss about Britain.  Several answered with quips such as “the British weather”.  A lady soldier with good english and good humour said, “I will really miss hearing people say “I can’t be bothered”.  We do not have an equivalent expression in Germany”.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 21 February 18

Entrepreneurial Business and Farming after Brexit

This is what happens when people who think they know about “the environment” start making rules about production processes about which they actually know very little.

I was talking to a client today concerning an un-necessary problem in recycling construction waste to farm land. He said, “Am I growing old or is it it getting more common that I meet more people who cause difficulties for no good reason?”

As a matter of experience, I am left in little doubt that, after Brexit, every arm of government and the establishment will not interfere with innovative activity, legal or otherwise, in areas such as electronics, automation, the web, etc, including the City.  They have neither the knowledge, nor the resources to regulate these areas and, therefore, such areas will continue to become progressively illegal and lacking in any sort of ethics other than “honour amongst thieves”. However, the ordinary activities of life including farming will become more and more regulated. The historian, Jane Marshal, was right;

“It is in the history of the world that whenever an empire collapses and for whatever reason, those left in government in the centre pass more and more regulations (or whatever they call them at the time) in the belief that they can stop the decline.  What always happens is that they stifle innovation and inhibit entrepreneurial activity and accelerate the rate of decline.  That is what is happening here (the EU and especially the UK) and now.”

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 7 Feb ‘18



Farming, Employed labour and political power.

Not to vote really should be a punishable offence. However, what will the elected politicians do for farming?


The more cynical might notice that, during the run up to an election, a large number of organisations and individuals become suddenly vocal in putting their case and asking for cash, pointing out that such additions would earn votes. Those wishing to be elected make promises which those with any intelligence take with a very small pinch of salt and then vote, not for their approved candidate but against those they like least.

For over 200 years, farming has become more and more efficient, employing less and less labour and has become a smaller and smaller proportion of the voting electorate.

The truth is that farming needs to forget the politicians (all of them) which will forget farming and, instead, get on with cutting costs (recycle wastes instead of buying mineral fertilisers), growing higher value crops and adding value to their production.  However, that is still not enough, farming has to market itself and its products better.  Much better and much more actively. Doing all of this will employ more labour which will, in due course, make it politically more influential.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 31 May 17


Waste Regulation Paralysis

“Too much analysis c an case paralysis.”

That is a quote from “The Yellow Book” by Robert Holden.  Spot on in our society where government seeks to write regulations to cover all eventualities.  Now, you do not have to be very bright to understand that is impossible and what happens is the stifling of innovation and inhibition of entrepreneurial activity which, in turn, pays taxes to fund government.  For “government”, read elected and, most certainly, civil service.

Logically, this observation applies to the waste industry, to the health service, welfare services, health and safety. The answer is simple.  A new environmental protection Act might only have one sentence; “Thou shalt not pollute”.

Solar-Energised Roads


Wet roads in summer are bad enough but how much worse in winter. Suppose we could avoid icy roads?

I have been a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport for longer than I care to admit and in this month’s issue of the journal “Focus”, there is a feature article on constructing roads to absorb energy from the sun and feed it back later, maybe months later.  While the energy cost of constructing these roads is not small, the energy savings and the multiple advantages of not having iced roads in winter are clearly worth some thought and investigation. By the way, some of these roads already exist and they do work.

Why leave the discussion at this point without going into detail?  Well, we really do have to start being a bit more innovative and bit less hide-bound by restrictive regulation and regulators. We need to strat voting for longer term thinking in the governments we elect.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 2 August 16

The circular economy: 7. The growth of the consumer class  




Website Rainbow 001

As Dolly Parton said, “If you want the rainbow, you have got to put up with the rain”.

The science: In the last century, global population quadrupled. There is one way of looking at the wealth of that population and that is to label those who have cash surplus to survival and to spend on goods made elsewhere as the “consumer class”. That class was around 1.8 billion in 2010.  Estimates vary but to be 5 billion by 2030 is probably not an exaggeration.

The bad news: This will need very rapidly expanding use of resources, some of which are already limited.

The good news: Technology keeps finding new materials, improving efficiency of use and we are beginning to think about circular technology. (See future issues on this blog.)

 Bill Butterworth 4 April 2016

P.S. Try the book, “Reversing global warming for profit”, by Bill Butterworth, published by MX Publishing, available from all good bookshops or on line at Amazon.