Environmental Farming at Great Wollaston
Protecting the environment is an important part of how we farm.
It is a double edged sword; by farming we degrade the environment but that is true of most modern day living.
There are nearly 7 billion people in the world and they need to eat so we need to use the land to produce food to sell and make a living. Or try to.
Let’s bring it back to the farm; we look for ways where we can farm the land and protect the environment.
Growing clover is a good way to do this. Clover fixes atmospheric nitrogen into nitrates by bacteria in its’ root nodes. White clover also helps break up the soil.
Having a good crop rotation improves soil organic matter which is locking up carbon and reduces the amount of sprays used.
Livestock can turn grass, which humans cannot eat, into something they can like meat and milk. Although cattle do produce methane which is a powerful greenhouse gas, milk and meat can be important parts of a balanced diet although we tend to eat too much meat and milk products. Diet is an interesting subject.
On the farm we farm both food crops and wildlife crops; as there are areas suited to one or other. Where we can grow good crops of grass or cereals we try to do it well. In areas of the farm where the soil is difficult or unsuitable for modern machinery we work to provide wildlife habitats.
We aim the produce different habitats in different areas. There is no single habitat that suits all wildlife. For example; on the south side of a hedge we establish a flower rich margin as this would get more sun and produce more nectar and pollen for insects. Whereas on the north side of the hedge which is shaded we establish a tussocky grass margin which is good for voles and shrews and provides shelter for over-wintering insects.
Some of the environmental work is supported by the government.