Conservation is at the heart of everything, we strive to create a better environment for us all to live in and provide a healthy ecosystem for the next generation. As an organic farm we do not use chemical fertiliser, feed additives to livestock or use any pesticides which has a huge benefit to the entire wildlife population and provides healthy food.
We have 70 acres of medieval wildflower meadows. These have survived in an isolated location surrounded by woodland and as such provide a look into the past as to how farms used to look. We have not settled on this however and have used our grassland enhancement technique to create new wildflower meadows and species rich grassland across the estate to double the amount of species rich grassland to circa 140 acres.
In addition to the wildflower meadows we provide a six metre margin around all of our arable fields which is a further 13 acres and a 24 metre grass margin by the river to act as a buffer zone of 3.5 acres. We have created 8 acres of wild bird and nectar strips to provide winter food to the thriving bird population and nectar for the bees.
The woodland is managed in order to encourage habitats that will support bio diverse populations of flora and fauna. The rides are intensively managed to create a mix of structured zones and open areas to encourage different species with great effect.
We have a number of miles of hedges that are vital nesting and alternative habitat for a number of species. We are working with the Sussex Lund in order to replant and lay hedges where appropriate where gaps have appeared. We cut the hedges only when all birds have nested and hedges have fruited. We are also working hard to reinvigorate and recreate ponds across the estate where possible.
The woodlands and meadows support birds of prey including Hobby, Buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrow Hawks and Barn Owls. The meadows are incredibly species rich from the sweet vernal grass and beautiful quaking grass, oxeye daisy, common knapweed, common spotted-orchid and common bird’s-foot-trefoil, along with less often seen flowers like dyer’s greenweed. As it stands 34 different species of Butterfly have been identified on the Estate (including Clouded Yellows and Painted Ladies) as well as a number of rare insects and moths so what we are doing clearly works.