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Stackyard News Apr 08

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    Natural England Launches Future of Farming Awards 2008

Farmers and farm managers across England are invited to enter Natural England’s 2008 Future of Farming Awards.


aberdeen angus cattle

The award scheme, which opens on Monday 7 April, recognises and celebrates farmers in England who have integrated wildlife, landscape and access management with more sustainable farming production on their farms. The awards are being actively supported by the farming industry with input from the CLA, NFU and TFA.

The inventor of a revolutionary new way of collecting and sowing wild seeds to help restore medieval hay meadows in Sussex was the 2007 Future of Farming Award winner. Keith Datchler of the Beech Estate, near Battle, East Sussex won the award for his work for both running a successful farm business and for protecting a precious yet threatened habitat that supports a rich mix of native wildlife, including wildflowers, butterflies and other rare insects.

The achievements of the 2007 finalists will be featured at Natural England’s stand at this year’s Royal Show.

The selection process for the award is designed so that no particular type or acreage of farm is favoured. The assessment looks at how well farming practices are tailored to benefit the wildlife, landscape and access opportunities of the farm. The contribution the farm makes to economic and social sustainability of the local area is also taken into account. This year farmers can apply for the award by completing a short on-line application form. Alternatively the form can be completed by a Natural England adviser on behalf of a farmer.

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