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Agriculture Case Studies

Shropshire Group

The Shropshire Group is a leading UK supplier of Salad and Vegetable crops to supermarkets, processors and wholesale customers, importing and exporting produce world-wide. Since the early 70's The Shropshire Group under its branded market name “G's” have recognised the importance of managing farms in an environmentally responsible manner. As part of G’s approach to biodiversity, the company recently entered into its first countryside stewardship agreement which will run form 2003/4 – 2013/14. Under the agreement the company aims to enhance its biodiversity activity by converting their set-aside acres to permanent status to be managed as game cover. The company also added four beetle banks in their organically farmed acres making the total number of banks to six. The agreement also includes: sowing areas of pollen and nectar mix with a high content of legume seeds, replanting or laying of hedges where necessary and establishing 2 meter margins along all hedges and ditches.

Having been awarded the Cambridgeshire Biodiversity Challenge County Award to G's Cambridgeshire Farms, the company since 2000 has had one of its G’s farms as part of the LEAF (Linking Farming and Environment) demonstration farm- a DEFRA Countrywide Stewardship Scheme (CSS) initiative

The company is also working with Local Biodiversity Partnerships to allow their farms to be used in a case study for the Farmers biodiversity Pack which provides concise, expert advice on farm management that can benefit the local environment.

Balliefurth Farm

In the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, Balliefurth Farm lying on the river Spey, considers sustainable land management practices as imperative to the survival of its business. The farm witnessed the consequences of unsustainable farming practices during flooding in 1990, and has since taken steps to ensure that the survival of its business is not threatened by environmental events.

The owners of Balliefurth Farm have developed a habitat management plan as part of its holistic business model, diversifying the activities on the farm and land management. They have opened a bed and breakfast, are carrying out woodland management for indigenous species, encourage different wild flowers and grasses into the fields, rotate fields, have put up interpretive signs on the Speyside foot-path that passes through the land, and input into discussions with other farmers and land owners under the LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) Scheme (see below). One of the owners also sits on the National Parks Board and both work closely with the Local Biodiversity partnership. The farm now has some 90 suckler cows and 190 ewes grazed on the farm’s fields, butchered locally and consumed by the community and Bed and Breakfast guests. The diversity of activities provides for a variety of income sources as well as balancing different land-uses with conservation objectives, reducing future economic or environmental risks.


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