Cumbrian Farmer Scoops Silver Lapwing Award

A farmer has been recognised by the farming and conservation industry for his outstanding efforts to promote good habitat and environmental management on his farm.

Giles Mounsey-Heysham, from Cumbria, has been awarded the highly-coveted ‘Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) National Silver Lapwing Award’, in conjunction with GWCT and LEAF.

Giles Mounsey-Heysham

Giles Mounsey-Heysham

The award, now in its 41st year, recognises farmers who go the extra mile to protect and enhance the countryside in which they farm. Giles was awarded from a national shortlist of seven farms, each selected for demonstrating outstanding commitment to good environmental practices, alongside running successful farm businesses.

Head of advisory services at GWCT Roger Draycott said:
“The FWAG Silver Lapwing Award recognises excellence in farming and wildlife conservation - and to win it is a fantastic achievement. The GWCT warmly congratulates Giles Mounsey-Heysham of Castletown Estate Farms on their success.”

The 2018 FWAG Silver Lapwing Award was presented to Giles Mounsey-Heysham on Thursday 21st June 2018 by Charles Beaumont, Silver Lapwing head judge, Martin Hole, Silver Lapwing judge, and Duncan Sinclair, agriculture manager for Waitrose. This year, the award ceremony was jointly hosted by Suffolk FWAG and the 2017 Silver Lapwing winner Edward Flatt, at Edward’s farm in Suffolk.

Many attendees from all sectors of the British farming and agriculture industry attended the award presentation and lunch. The presentation was followed by a tour of Eastwood Farm, which highlighted some of the reasons why Edward won the Silver Lapwing in 2017.

These groups have helped British farmers for over four decades, providing trusted, independent, environmental advice.

About the 2018 winner
Castletown Estate Farms is a 4000 acre farm between the Esk and the Eden in the heart of the Solway Estuary, selling 1200 finished beef cattle a year and growing dairy forages. The challenge of economically grazing 2500 acres of salt marsh, covered by the sea at high spring tides, to provide habitat for nesting waders and tens of thousands of wintering wildfowl, is a monumental undertaking for Giles and his team. Well supported by Natural England, this internationally important wildlife jewel has been transformed from a debt laden, loss making, liability to a diverse and profitable business by Giles during his high-energy 50 years in charge. While the marsh is the drama, imaginative conservation also provides wildlife rich woodlands and meadows through the productive remainder of the farmland, with exciting potential to push conservation even further in the future.

About the FWAG Silver Lapwing Award

The Silver Lapwing is an award for farmers who have demonstrated a commitment to species and habitat conservation and has been able to show how they integrate their environmental management with their overall farm business. Understanding and conserving historic aspects of the farm is also important.

In addition, consideration is given to the farm’s approach to conserving natural resources; this includes good soil management, the protection of water quality and efficient use of water and energy. These are all areas that the judges consider on their tour of the competition finalists.


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