Michael manages a farm in Shropshire. His emphasis is building plant health and minimising synthetic inputs. He grows milling wheat, malting barley and quinoa, and has 500 ewes. The lambs are fed on a grass-based diet and are sold through a local farm shop. The farm sequesters a lot of carbon and his aim is to build as much soil life and organic matter as he can.
Michael's farm biodiversity
Over the past 7 years, Michael has been striving to enhance his soil health and overall farm biodiversity. Michael now farms without the use of many synthetic inputs previously relied upon to produce food. Alongside its food production, the farm has a combined area of over 20 Hectares dedicated to enhancing biodiversity, that’s around 30 football pitches.
This is a natural mixture of ponds, streams, over 7 miles of hedges, woodlands, floristically enhanced areas and wild bird seed mixes, which thrive alongside food production. Michael has not used an insecticide on the farm for 7 years, and alongside his other farming techniques, this has helped the soil food web on his farm thrive.
The diverse habitats on the farm allow a range of species to flourish, from skylarks and yellowhammers to butterflies and bees. Michael has a local bird ringing group who regularly surveys the farm and are finding encouraging numbers of rare bird species. 4 species of Owls have been spotted on the farm, another clear indication that the soil food web is thriving under his management.
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