The protection of our environment and the welfare of our cows is extremely important to us. It’s how we farm.
We are Red Tractor Farm Assured, meaning we farm to some of the highest welfare standards in the world. All our animals are treated as individuals (many have nicknames as well as pedigree names) and they are all given the freedom to express individual natural behaviours and form social groups. Our farm team work very closely with our vets and consultants to ensure that our cows are as healthy and happy as possible at all times.
We are part of an environmental protection scheme called Countryside Stewardship .This focuses on the specific environmental needs of our area such as providing winter food for birds by leaving winter stubbles, drilling areas with wild bird seed and leaving areas of crops un-harvested.
We also have land set aside as Environmental Focus Areas, which protect wildlife and waterways on our farm.
Here are some of our environment and welfare initiatives:
- 7% of our arable land is classed as fallow, where we leave the land uncultivated to provide habitats for wildlife, birds and insects.
- 25% of our arable land is included in an environmental scheme, such as Countryside stewardship or EFA
- The hedgerows, surrounding our 43 fields, have remained in place for at least the last 100 years.
- We have use solar panels to run the dairy during the day and reduce our energy consumption.
- Local sourcing. We try to use local suppliers where possible. We source 98.5% of our cows feed from the UK, with 82% grown here on the farm. We do not feed soya to our cows. All the straw we use for bedding is from our neighbouring farms.
- To protect our grassland from overgrazing and compaction, we use a traditional paddock grazing system, giving the grassland plenty of time to recover between visits.
- The manure, which our cows produce is used as fertiliser for our arable land. This helps us reduce the use of chemical fertilisers on our crops
- Antibiotics. We only use antibiotics when it is essential for a cows health and recovery and only under the advice of our veterinary. We have not used critically important antibiotics (antibiotics which are important in human health) on the farm for several years. If a cow is treated with antibiotics we follow a strict protocol to ensure that her milk is discarded until it is tested and clear from any traces.