Thursday, 20 January 2011

Green Light for High Level Stewardship

Some good news to share with you all in the New Year.  Our Entry and Higher Level Stewardship application seems to have ticked all of the right boxes and has been given a January 1st 2011 start date.  From this moment we are putting the scheme into operation.  It is a great challenge but it will be so rewarding, not just for us, but for the people that visit our farm, those that walk on Bredon Hill and also for the wildlife we can support, attract and encourage.  I hope that the visitors and walkers will be able to appreciate what we are doing and play their part by keeping to the public rights of way and following the countryside code 

A huge thank you to the organizations that lobbied on our behalf, those at FWAG and LEAF the NFU and the CLA also Farmers Weekly for their write up in the 29th October edition.  I would also like to thank Harriet Baldwin MP and Jim Paice MP for their support.  The only omission from our scheme is the removal of funding for our educational access visits and the open access.  These are two areas that really need support to encourage people to learn about their food, farming and the countryside on which we depend on for our living.

So it's full steam ahead, and as of this moment we have started work on our Orchard Management Plan.  Rob Howells our local FWAG Farm Conservation Officer has started mapping and categorizing the trees currently in place.  From this survey we will be able to work out a plan for planting and pruning over the next 5 years.  Later this year we will start to identify those trees and if possible start replanting trees next winter.
Here is Rob in the Cherry Orchard assessing the condition of some very old Cherry trees that could someday soon be some of the first trees to be restored under our High Level Stewardship agreement.

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