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Farming for Wildlife: Peelham Farm


my name is Denise Walton from p.m. farm
I’m managing partner Keely walls and partners which is a family business
partnership including my husband my son we have an integrated mix film organic
pasta for life cattle pigs and stroller when I say to a farmers for that value
one farm sir we we bill to put two 2080 on the phone which draws livestock from
the farm and so we’re doing something like eighty two hundred thousand kilos
it means through the butchery a year which we sell online at farmer’s markets
direct to intervention ethical organic retailers who doesn’t restaurants when
we first came to Pilon in 1993 it was a pretty decrepit run down over
intensively farmed completely arable farm uh our vision was mixed stop
farming and supply and customers direct from our farm while we couldn’t
initially when his staff from here afford to go organic it was always our
ambition that we would be organic it wasn’t until the I think was the cep
reform of 2002 which then started facilitating in funding organic that we
were actually able to afford to do it the prior to doing organic which we
started converting in 2005 we basically start restoring hedgerows and fence
lines and I have to say you know we could never have afforded to have done
the restoration without grant aid so grant aid has helped us a lot but but
we’ve also been conscious of how we needed to route and link and have the
the network of corridors there’s no point putting a hedgerow
infielders and that’s it if it needs to link and it’s all about connectivity
because while I live for this small seed-eating Birds or Road
or even insects will always follow corridors where there’s some kind of
security for predators or there’s a sorts of feed ecologically any form of
structure adds to diversity you can get habitat structure simply a lot of
diversity along the edge of cut silage field or the cottage of cereal field
where you’ve exposed the stubble with a richness of wheat and wheat seed where
that’s linked to hedgerow and woodland they’ve actually you’re complimenting
you’ve got this cumulative structural benefit so Hydra linked to woodland
pituitary to scrub to pond or pond excavation more a woodland planting and
then of course you know as the the granted skis became more sophisticated
we were then able to put an exact killing beetle banks and because we’ve
got corn bunting on the boundary of the farm we were able to put in a scheme of
grassland and crop management for for corn buntings which are ready to cook
species that’s a direct benefit of for ground nesting birds like wanting the
indirect benefits are to soil health for example so where you’ve got long term
cropping and you’ve got the break down the natural breakdown of organic matter
that will inevitably benefit soils and where you’ve got sort of increased solar
activity increase earthworm active activity there drawing down of organic
matter being increased the humic content of the soil through houmous that’s all a
benefit so yeah there are there are a lot of other spin-offs and because
they’re organic we’re not applying any agrochemicals there’s
sighs herbicides insecticides so the the insect populations aren’t inhibited or
decimated by the application of argument we’ve really lucky appealing because
they’ve got this lovely biodiversity hotspot which is a an ancient mire that
was has been in botanical records in Berkshire says dr. Johnson that found
with rich natural society recorded it it’s a great field for our cattle
grazing its opponent pasture and it’s got a lot of biodiversity richness we
don’t need a biodiversity hotspot to actually have good habitat on your farm
you can build by diversity by building habitat structure font hedgerows plant
woodlands be very mindful of where you’re planting them so you get the
connectivity the connections or how called the nodes between them which
automatically generate a lot of biodiversity interest and you know this
isn’t about searching for the rare species but actually just a generous
home for lots of wildlife that you have good biodiversity you

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