Regenerative farming seeks to produce high quality food and improve (rather than just sustain) the natural environment.
Helping To Increase Biodiversity
The rich diversity of plants on our farm is not only good for the livestock, it’s also beneficial for the nature that shares the space with them, leading to a wider variety of soil life and greater biodiversity.
Grazing herbivores are known to be fantastic for increasing biodiversity on farms. By rotating our animals through our pastures, natural fertility is added through their dung. This increases soil life which, in turn, increases the number of worms, insects, birds, mammals and wildlife.
We are lucky that our farm benefits from permanent pasture river-meadows alongside the pretty River Thame; and we already have many well-established hedges and trees planted over the decades.
With its river frontage and natural flood meadows, the farm is perfect for wetland restoration, floodplain management and freshwater habitat conservation work.
We are delighted therefore to be working with The River Thame Conservation Trust and the Freshwater Habitats Trust to carry out wetland restoration with the aim of creating ponds, ditches and habitats for freshwater species and you can read more about this work here.
Re-landscaping our river meadows to create a network of pools and shallow scrapes for wetland wildlife
Making annual hay cuts and spreading seed-rich green hay to restore the grassland diversity in our old river meadows
Producing organic willow which can be made into woven willow products and living willow structures for gardens
Planting copses of native trees and shrubs to act as natural windbreaks for our livestock which will capture carbon as these saplings develop into magnificent trees
Planting new native and diverse hedges and trees in our fields to increase the diversity still further and capture more carbon
Leaving corners of our fields untouched and planting seeds for birds and bees
We are working with our organic sheepskins and wool. These by-products are often wasted but can provide sustainable fibre and furnishings.
Burgeoning of Wildlife and Plantlife
Since implementing a natural, chemical-free management system and increasing the diversity of our vegetation, we have seen a burgeoning of wildlife. We have rare wetland birds in our meadows and it has been lovely to see an increasing number of native partridges, yellowhammers, reed buntings, cuckoos, woodpeckers, little owls and many more.
Insect life also seems to have increased. Last summer, there were clouds of blue butterflies; numerous marbled whites and even a clouded yellow – the first that had been seen on the farm in recent years.
“We know that healthy soil leads to rich microscopic and insect life, leading in turn to greater numbers of larger animals such as worms, bees, birds and mammals – all flourishing alongside our livestock.”
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