Environment & Welfare

The protection of our environment and the welfare of our cows are both extremely important to us.  It’s how we farm.

Our family and dedicated 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. Each animal is an individual, with the freedom to express natural behaviours and form social groups with others. We know their characters and many have a nickname as well as a pedigree name. We have been Red Tractor Farm Assured for many years, meaning we farm to some of the highest welfare standards in the world.

Antibiotics.  We use antibiotics only when it is essential for a cow’s health and only under the advice of our veterinary.  We do not use antibiotics that are critically important for human health on the farm.  If a cow is treated with antibiotics we follow a strict protocol to ensure that her milk is discarded until it is confirmed to be free from any trace of antibiotics.

Bull Calves. We rear all the Jersey bull calves born on the farm for several months on home-grown forage for our local beef boxes. Jersey Beef is not widely available commercially as this breed does not produce high yields, but the meat has a delicious flavour and tender texture. We do not feed them soya. The beef is prepared locally by skilled people we know and trust. Beef boxes are available every 2 months with free delivery all over the York area. To register your interest please contact us.

The Environment

With all UK farmers, we are committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2040 and are already working hard to achieve this.

Jersey cows are deemed to have a lower environmental impact than other breeds. This is because they are smaller and require less feed and resources. Jerseys are extremely efficient at converting feed into delicious, nutritious milk.

Because they are smaller, Jerseys release less methane gas into the atmosphere and they have less impact on the grassland.

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 and habitats for birds and other wildlife. We drill small areas to produce seeds for birds and leave crop areas unharvested or as stubble (the crop stalk after harvest) over winter.

We also have land set aside as Environmental Focus Areas (EFA), which protect wildlife and waterways on our farm.

Here are some of our environmental initiatives:

  • 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 use solar energy to run the dairy during the day and reduce our energy consumption.
  • We 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.  
  • To protect our grassland from overgrazing and compaction, we use a traditional paddock grazing system, giving the pasture plenty of time to recover between visits.
  • We bed our cows on straw, which comes from neighbouring farms. Straw is a great local sustainable bedding, which keeps the cows warm, comfortable and absorbs ammonia, which prevents it being released into the atmosphere.
  • The manure that our cows produce is used as fertiliser on our arable land.  This helps to reduce our use of chemical fertilisers on our crops.
Countryside Stewardship Unharvested cereals. We leave a proportion of our crops unharvested for winter bird feed and wildlife.
hedgerow on the farm, providing cover for small birds such as blue tits, chaffinches, goldfinches and sparrows.
Countryside Stewardship Winter Bird Feed. This area attracts pollinating insects in the summer and provides feed and cover for birds during the winter.