soil-headerslider2

THE ENVIRONMENT

Valuing Nature…

I value the balance of nature that helps us in our farming and have tailored the government’s entry and higher level stewardship schemes to provide structure to our environmental approach.

Our efforts have been rewarded with several awards but more importantly scientific studies showing that our orchard called Banky has vast species diversity, even more than organic orchards in the same study.

blossomtree thronefarm

The main aspects of our schemes are:

  • Retaining and regeneration of our traditional “standard” Herefordshire cider apple orchards

    traditional Herefordshire standard orchards

    We aim to maintain our traditional Herefordshire standard orchards

  • Hedgerow preservation

  • Lapwing habitat creation

  • Permissive access

I have been less successful at establishing pollen & nectar plots, discovering clover to be more effective and have also found that red tape and our rural location have reduced demand for widespread educational access.

Not everything conveniently fits into an administrator’s tick box and we are continually striving to find easy solutions to create biodiversity on our farm.

To give you an idea, we try to:

  • Leave strips unmown around orchard margins to encourage wild flowers, pollinators & predatory insects

    un mown strip: Insect & wild flower heaven

    un mown strip: Insect & wild flower heaven

  • Provide housing for Solitary bees, which in turn pollinate our apple blossom, by strategically placing dumps of soil or drilling holes into gate posts

    Unglamorous but effective, high rise holes house solitary bee

    Unglamorous but effective, high rise holes house solitary bee

  • Creating mulch beneath trees from grass cuttings.

    mulch to retain moisture, encourage soil biology and smother weeds

    mulch to retain moisture, encourage soil biology and smother weeds

  • Leave a few stacks of wood pruning’s / rotting wood as a wildlife refuge

  • Plant trees in North facing hedgerows

It is important that we boost our environmental credentials with the recycling of farm / packaging, waste materials, use of spray washings bio beds and continual review of our inputs.