Earth Trust Farm is a mixed farm of 500 hectares, a third of which is arable and a third grassland.
Tenant livestock farmers further contribute towards our integrated farming system. This farming approach is an integral part of our green space management strategy, and is part of what makes us distinct from many other greenspace managers.
Our aim is to farm in a nature and climate-friendly way, working with the environment to enhance a biodiversity partnership that assists us in minimising the farm’s carbon emissions and maximising its carbon sequestration, whilst producing quality food.
The way in which farm boundaries impact on and link to each other is vital to landscape-scale and ecosystem change. We farm responsibly and collaboratively within the local and regional landscape so that we help create greater change and impacts for nature and climate.
We farm based on data (both understanding it, and applying it), evidence, best practice through collective learning and innovation alongside the wider farming networks that align with our underlying principles.
Our farm includes the production of food products as a contribution to healthy diets, as well as a demonstration of systems and practices that are positive for biodiversity and the climate.
Our farming principles
Improving and restoring soil quality, and sustainability, by using minimum tillage and mechanisation (to reduce disturbance and compaction of soils), minimising ‘inputs’ such as non-organic and/or treated insecticides, herbicides, fertilisers and medication and using integrated, rotational systems that produce a mix of crops/arable, grassland, trees and livestock.
Maximising positive impacts and benefits for biodiversity, mitigating climate change and supporting human health and wellbeing.
Livestock play a vital role in our integrated farming system, not just for the purposes of food production and making up part of a nutritious diet, but as part of the land management practices that deliver soil quality, productivity and yield, biodiversity and contributing (overall) to the ‘balance’ of greenhouse gases.
Ongoing learning and collaboration with others, both in terms of seeking advice from external experts, and innovating and sharing our experiences with other farmers and landowners.
One third of the Earth Trust farm is made up of ‘grassland’. This serves several purposes in terms of delivering impacts for biodiversity, spaces for access and engagement (health), and in a small way for climate (grassland delivers comparatively little for carbon, but is very beneficial for soil and water). Our grasslands are therefore managed for their quality, but also as an integral part of our farming and food production model:
Providing high quality grazing and hay for supplementary feeding of livestock
Providing an abundance of forage for pollinators.
Conservation of biodiversity (flora, and in turn fauna) and contributing to public health and wellbeing.