By encouraging their natural herd instinct, our cows and sheep help nature thrive, build healthy soils and sequester more carbon in our pasture.
How we farm
We believe that healthy soil is fundamental to our future; to create a farming system that works in balance with nature and to produce good quality nutritional food. Soil that is healthy can function properly by:
Naturally absorbing carbon from the atmosphere through a process known as sequestration, which reduces harmful greenhouse gases
Building our resilience to climate change by offering better drainage and improving flood risk
Allowing us to produce better quality food with higher nutritional value
Reducing or removing the need for synthetic fertilisers or chemicals
We graze our livestock it a way that replicates as much as possible, how they would behave as a herd in the wild. We move them around the farm in groups, giving them regular access to fresh pasture full of natural plants and grasses.
The areas they are grazing benefit from their presence. Livestock eat the most nutritious top third of the forage plants and trample the stemmy and less nutritious stalks onto the ground, depositing a layer of dead plant material onto the surface of the soil called mulch. Along with their natural manure, this mulch helps build new healthy soil, reduces water evaporation, provides a habitat for bugs and other small organisms and creates organic matter.
Regularly moving them on to a fresh section of pasture helps to keep them healthy, but also ensures large areas of our grassland is rested from grazing. This is beneficial for species diversity and also maximises the carbon sequestration capability of the pasture.
Conservation grazing is an important part of managing grasslands and it’s where our passion for grazing started. The species rich meadows we have managed wouldn't exist without livestock. By grazing grasslands sensitively at the right times of year, beautiful wildflowers and other beneficial types of vegetation can thrive, creating fantastic habitats for butterflies and bees. A varied and rich vegetation not only supports our sheep and cattle enterprise, but also provides a habitat for an abundance of wildlife - a great example of how livestock farming and the environment can work hand in hand.
We take a very careful approach to using medicines on our livestock and are mindful of when and where we apply any important routine treatments. For example, we know that dung beetle populations are great partners in improving soil health as they take all the cow manure into the soil. As well as the health of our livestock, we think it’s important we consider the time of year, location and weather and how this will impact all the little critters working on the farmland around us.