In addition to working with nature one of our top priorities is ensuring the business makes a positive contribution to the environment. In light of this we have implemented the following special practices:
We have implemented a farming system where each part is reliant on and supports others. For further detail please read click here to learn more.
Over wintered stubbles
After we harvest the crops in the autumn we leave the stubbles untouched during the winter. By not cultivating them we leave some unharvested crop as valuable feed for winter birds. The ground cover of the stubble provides essential feeding and habitat for ground mammals and birds.
We have always recognised that hedges provide important natural corridors and habitat for a variety of species. We strengthen these benefits by leaving several metres around the fields to nature. At first glance they may look like messy waste ground however they provide important foundations to the whole ecosystem and support a variety of invertebrates, mammals and birds.
Hedge and tree planting
We have planted hundreds of new trees and hundreds of meters of new hedge over the last 6 years. On occasions where trees have dies we have sought (where safe) to leave standing deadwood and create piles of deadwood to create further natural habitat. At Whitehouse Farm a new orchard of native apple, pear and damson trees has been created
We plant and encourage a wide variety of hedge species in order to provide year round cover and feeding ground. We only cut them every other year and allow them to grow up higher than normal.
Bird, bat and bee boxes
We are working with a number of specialist conservation groups to establish more bird, bat and bee boxes around the farm to provide essential breeding and habitat for these pillars of the ecosystem.
Bio-diversity action plan
All this work is coordinated through our investement in a bio-diversity action plan that identified the existing natural environment and set out priorities for managing, conserving and improving the bio-diversity on the farm
Investment in renewable energy
Reducing our reliance on fossil fuel is fundamental to our farming philosophy whether it is through more efficient use of natural manure to reduce artificial fertiliser or generating our own electricity. See the blog article on commissioning of our solar panels.