As farmers we are aware of our duty to care for the land, for the benefit of future generations, as previous generations have cared for it before us. It is incredibly important that we look after our local and wider environment and we take this responsibility seriously. We manage the farm sensitively to try to encourage wildlife and to ensure we reduce our impact on the wider, global environment.
What we're doing about it
As part of our efforts to create a more sustainable way of producing food we use the 5 Capital's Framework to guide us. This means we have to consider not only the natural capital (earth, air, water, biodiversity etc) but also human, social, manufactured and financial capital.
To learn more about this approach visit: www.forumforthefuture.org/project/five-capitals/overview
Wildlife and ecology
We actively manage the farm to maintain and create wildlife habitat. The five on farm reservoirs and their surrounds are our own nature reserves and the farm is home to a variety of wildlife. Recent years has seen further tree and hedge planting including the threatened Black Poplar as part of a wetland habitat creation.
Some rare species thrive on our farm including rare birds and a healthy water vole population monitored in association with Essex Wildlife Trust. We are also members of the RSPB Volunteer & Farmer Alliance.
Water & Energy
Our fifth reservoir was finished in 2013, allowing us to catch a further 25 million litres of winter rainfall for irrigating our crops.
The farm’s energy supply is 100% renewable, our own solar PV installations augmented by supply from Good Energy. We also have a variety of micro-renewables installed on various farm properties.
We farm in and around the village of Great Oakley and try to ensure our farming activities do not have a negative impact on the community.
We are happy to allow people to walk around much of the farm and will soon be launching new farm walks in association with the community-owned village pub; The Maybush, which we are proud to support and be involved with.
We also encourage local schools and groups such as Cubs and Beavers to visit to learn more about food, farming and nature.