Management of the land we work on is crucial to us. Besides farming arable parcels of land, we spend a lot of time looking after the natural capital of the whole estate or farm. This might include woodland and hedgerow management, implementation of sustainable environmental measures such as floristically enhanced grassland or advice on grazing policy. On our own farm we plant 400 trees and 500m of new hedges annually, and lay about 500m of hedge each year.
Our aim is to enhance the whole farm, in environmental as well as financial terms. This includes improving soil health, upgrading environmental measures (such as increased bird numbers) as well as bettering arable yields and therefore returns to the farmer. By improving the fertility of the soil we have reduced the level of artificial inputs we apply to the land year on year. This approach has enabled us to reduce our nitrogen usage by 50% over the last three years and adopt a more targeted approach to input applications e.g. nutrient maps.