Working with nature is of genuine importance to our farming business – we fully understand and appreciate that nature’s resources are not infinite so since 2009 we have taken active steps to farm more sustainably.
We have used as many cover crops as we can under our HLS scheme with floristically enhanced margins (see Gallery below). Cover crops are otherwise known as ‘green manures’ – grown to eventually plough back in to increase the amount of organic matter in the soil to both improve soil fertility and reduce our reliance on artificial fertilisers. When we do have to use artificial fertilisers we do so in the evening to reduce impact on wildlife (the bees from the apiary on the farm will be back in their hives).
We farm in the water catchment area for the River Coquet. David Park sits on the Catchment Sensitive Farming Steering Group. The aim is to reduce the risk of diffuse pollution and surface run-off.
In 2018 David appeared on BBC Breakfast with our friend Prof. John Hobrough who keeps the bees on the farm to discuss the impact of growing 36 hectares of Phacelia ( a purple-flowering cover crop) had on the apiary.
John, a keeper of bees for over 65 years, said the results were astounding, with his three strong colonies making over 230lbs of honey within a month.