As a company, we are recognised for making small changes on the land we farm that can make a big difference to the environment immediately around us. This year has seen us planting specific seed mixtures that
provide habitats and food sources to create biodiversity on farmland.
After lengthy discussions and advice from seed providers such as Kings & Cotswolds, we were advised to sow mixtures that are rich in plants such as phacelia, borage, chicory and crimson clover. Alongside this, we decided to add a ‘Cornfield Annuals’ mix which consists of wildflowers such as the common poppy, cornflowers and white campion. Not only are these visually striking, but attractive to insects in providing them with a food source.
Our contract farmers have been fully on board with this initiative and they’ve seen lots of insect activity as a direct result of planting specific mixtures.
It is important for us that whatever we choose wouldn’t just be beneficial short term but could be easily managed and have a long life-span that we could monitor visually. The seed mixtures chosen achieve a combination of overhead summer and winter cover for our poultry, act as further enrichment and encourage natural behaviour such as foraging and ranging.
They provide a nectar and pollen rich food source for pollinators and utilise our range areas better.
While it is still early to measure the impact our cover strips have made, we have already seen the bright flowers attract native bees and butterflies – and lots of farm wildlife such as hares, pheasants and partridges hiding in the cover!
We are excited to watch our poultry enjoy exploring their new environments and will continue to monitor and report on the progress next year