THORNESS FARMERS JOIN GOVERNMENT PILOT TO HELP ENCOURAGE SUSTAINABLE FARMING – Island Echo

The Brooks family of Thorness has joined a pilot project to help the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs improve the delivery of sustainable agriculture incentives to farms across the country.

For over a century, the family have worked at South Thorness Farm, located in the Hamstead Heritage Coast Area of ​​Natural Beauty, west of Cowes.

In a video diary for DEFRA, sisters Jess and Sarah, along with their parents Adrian and Joyce, explain farm management and their decision to join the pilot, while giving a little insight into the world of modern farming here. on the island.

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Jess explains that the farm is home to more than you might think with interesting wildlife such as red squirrels, brown hares, larks and swallows, as well as barn owls and kestrels and hazel dormice in the hedgerows. There are also many species of butterflies in the area, as well as different types of dragonflies and damselflies.

The incentive for sustainable agriculture (IFC) is the first of 3 new environmental programs implemented by the government as part of the agricultural transition plan. IFC aims to help farmers manage land in a way that improves food production and is more environmentally sustainable.

Farmers are paid to deliver public goods, such as improved water quality, biodiversity, climate change mitigation, and animal health and welfare.

The Brooks family is passionate about the role small prairie farms can play in the future of our countryside and tThey intend to protect and enhance the exceptionally diverse wildlife on their farm.

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Jesse says:

“We are getting into incentivizing sustainable agriculture because we believe that small prairie farms like ours have an important role to play in the future of the countryside, and 55 acres like we have here doesn’t seem like a lot. , but we have a part to play, and it’s not an insignificant amount of land and we can sequester carbon here, we can attract and support more wildlife, and we can lock in nutrients and help clean up the land. ‘water “.

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