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Enhancing Ecosystems at Any Scale

Thursday 4th July, 6.30pm

Caradoc, Sellack, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire HR9 6LS

Kindly hosted by Major & Mrs Patrick Darling

Book your place now via Herefordshire Rural Hub: bookings@herefordshireruralhub.co.uk

 

Join us to hear from three land managers who represent a range of farming scales and systems, each making efforts to deliver for wildlife and water within their farm boundaries but utilising very different approaches…..

 

Charlie Burrell studied at Cirencester Royal Agricultural College, fully expecting to be a farmer. He inherited Knepp Castle Estate in West Sussex in 1983. Despite intensifying the Estate’s arable and dairy business for 17years, farming on the heavy Sussex clay remained unprofitable. Today all 3,500ac are devoted to a process-led rewilding project involving free-roaming herds of cattle, horses, pigs and deer as drivers of habitat creation. Knepp is now a breeding hotspot for purple emperor butterflies, turtle doves and 2% of the UK’s population of nightingales.

 

Steve Klenk is farm manager of Garnstone Farms in North West Herefordshire. They utilise Stewardship schemes to deliver a range of habitat and food sources for wildlife in margins and plots across the holding. Now, through reduced cultivations and enhancing soil health, significant benefits are also being delivered across the entire field. Healthy soils are the foundation of a well-functioning ecosystem. Steve utilises manure, crop residues, cover crops and also now companion cropping to feed his soil. His approach supports food production, provides for pollinators and farmland birds, sequesters carbon and stores water – all in a day’s work.

 

Rob Havard follows the principles of conservation grazing at Phepson Farm in Worcestershire. Now farming organically he has a strong emphasis on conservation. Rob rotationally grazes his Aberdeen Angus cattle to make the most of diverse native pastures and has restored many acres of native species-rich pastures. His livestock thrive in this system, fattening all stock from grass and natural herbs alone. Rob’s approach maximises profit per acre rather than production per acre so maintains balance with the wider environment. Populations of wild birds and wildflower species have been increasing year on year thanks to this approach.