The whole farm of 1500 ac is run within a Natural England Countryside Stewardship scheme and we have not put fertiliser on our grass fields for over 20 years. 40% of our arable land is planted with a two-year leguminous crop rotation to help increase the soils’ natural fertility and health.
This means we use less fertilisers and sprays on our arable crops. We have recently bought a new direct drill to plant our crops which has three hoppers on the back so we can place the fertiliser next to the crop (rather than spreading it around the field). This saves tractor use, time and diesel. We are now focused not on maximum yield but on sustainability and cost of production but that often means accepting lower yields. We have to get used to weedy fields that do not impress our neighbours – to us rather like a messy and untidy garden!
Wildlife & Nature
Because of the less intensive way we farm at Notgrove with our permanent pasture, longer rotation of land and using the soils’ natural fertility, our wild plants and animals have flourished. During your stay, you should notice the numerous species we have worked so hard to encourage.