(Bloomberg) --

The UK has opened up land usually set aside to preserve wildlife and the rural environment for livestock grazing as the drought drags on. 

Farmers can cut or graze additional lands to cope with shortages of fodder and forage crops, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said Wednesday. That includes areas like hedgerow trees and buffer strips planted on cultivated lands, which are normally intended to bolster water quality and protect landscapes.

The industry is desperate to source feed for animals after the driest July in 87 years. Corn fields and pastures are drying up across Europe, and some livestock farms are dipping into winter forage reserves in the height of summer.

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