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Protecting the Environment

Protecting the Environment

Our mission is to produce high quality food and at the same time protect our environment for future generations. We are planting areas for wildlife and managing our fields, hedgerows and ponds to encourage a diverse population of flowers, trees, insects and animals on our farms.

Hedgerows

The fields at Slamseys and our other farms are bounded by ancient and more recently planted hedgerows. These hedgerows are carefully managed by cutting, coppicing and replanting, which promotes strong growth and provides food such as berries and shelter for wild birds and other animals.

 

Wildlife

You may notice that we don’t plant crops right to the edge of the fields. These uncultivated verges are not footpaths but a conservation buffer zone that protects the ditches and hedgerows from chemicals and fertiliser while providing a habitat for insects, small mammals and amphibians. In some fields, these zones have been extended to six metres to maintain a more diverse habitat. Please stay on the marked public footpaths and bridleways and leave the conservation strips for wildlife.

We sow small fields with seeds for farmland birds to feed on, especially in autumn and winter and with wild flowers, which provide homes and food for bees and butterflies. Our wildlife banks are good places for insects and give cover for ground-nesting birds and small mammals.

 

Ponds

We have several ponds dotted around the farms. Most of these have been here for years, but we’re also digging new ponds to create ‘stepping stones’ for wildlife to move across the landscape. These ponds attract freshwater amphibians like newts or frogs and attract invertebrates such as pond skaters and damselflies.  They also provide drinking water for wildlife, nest sites for birds and space for plants to grow.

Some ponds, like the one by the public footpath that runs across the field from Gypsy Corner on Blackley Lane (PROW 15_ 104), hold water all year but others fill only in times of high rainfall. Each sort provides different wildlife benefits.