Farm Innovation Visits Application Form - Cotswolds Farms Biodiversity

Closed 27 Feb 2023

Opened 16 Feb 2023


The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is offering farmers the opportunity to travel to England to learn about innovative approaches to enhancing on farm biodiversity.

The College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) will lead a Farm Innovation Visit, in partnership with Farm Ed, to the North EastCotswolds Farmer cluster, the FAI research farms near Oxford, Whittingdon Lodge farm in the Cotswolds hills, and mixed arable and grassland farms at Conygree farm and FarmEd itself.

Farm Ed, is a not for profit organisation promoting agroecology and regenerative farming. They have featured prominently in press and in TV and are leading UK experts and providers of policy advice. The demonstration farm is a diverse mix of low input arable and temporary grass, and organic permanent pasture with trial plots of sainfoin, herbal ley, barley, heritage wheat, wild bird seed and various cover crops. The grassland is managed by mob grazing with sheep and cattle to promote soil health and pasture diversity. Additional features include a micro dairy, natural flood management scheme, a whole farm Countryside Stewardship Scheme, heritage orchard, tree planting, wildflower margins and an apiary.

FAI farms formerly Oxford University research farm will demonstrate a commercial beef project with environmental & economic benefits called Adaptive Multi Paddock (AMP) grazing. This is a four-year grazing project on heavy land focused on improving resilience, biodiversity and soil health with a reduced requirement for reseeding and winter housing. The project won the 2021 Sustainable Food & Farming Award.

There will be opportunity to meet other members of the NE Cotswolds Farmers Cluster who between their 70 members manage 22,000 ha. The group aims to manage land in a viable and sustainable way in response to changes within the English farm support schemes.  Whilst the landscape, soils and climate are different to home, the approaches to farming and their track record in managing land for multiple objectives will give the visit participants the chance to focus on innovative ways of maintaining, restoring, and enhancing biodiversity that can be adapted to Northern Irish farm


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  • Higher Education