Conservation at the Farm

We are taking part in the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme - a Defra scheme designed for farmers to protect and enhance the environment and wildlife on their farm, with specific targets and management requirements.

Maintenance and restoration of species rich grassland. Common spotted orchids, classified as rare in Staffordshire are present on this site, along with bettany, self heal, yarrow and many other rare plants. Traditional hay making allows wild flowers to seed and spread. Permanent grassland with very low inputs has a higher value for wildlife. Over 90% of traditionally managed grassland has been lost to intensification, so it is important to maintain this resource. As this land is managed by grazing it provides a habitat for ground nesting birds, such as Skylarks which have been in decline over recent years.

Wild bird seed mixture has been planted in two plots to encourage seed eating birds and provide a year round food source for them. Pollen & nectar seed mixture has been planted to encourage nectar feeding insects and butterflies.

Over winter stubbles - We leave about a third of our arable land as stubble over winter before sowing a spring crop. This provides an important source of food for seed eating birds from split grain and seeds of broad leaved weeds.

Buffer strips & Field corner management - We have left strips of uncultivated land around most of our arable fields and have taken a field corner adjacent to a pond out of production. These areas have a wide range of benefits including creation of new habitats for small mammals, birds and invertebrates; protecting habitats from sprays, fertiliser and cultivations; protecting water courses and reducing diffuse pollution.

Floristically enhanced margins - These margins have been planted with a range of native wild flowers that will be beneficial to wildlife. This diversity will also be a source of interest to visitors. Maintenance of Wood Pasture and Parkland Woodland livestock exclusion. The Moldy Meadow is a small area of wet woodland identified as a Grade 1 Site of Biological Importance. We have fenced this area off from livestock to protect and enhance the fauna and flora present. Our cereals are grown using modern methods. Fertiliser application and weed control is kept to a minimum for the growing needs of the crop and undertaken only after consultation with a qualified agronomist.

DW Cope Partners
Beaudesert Park Farm,
Horsey Lane,
Upper Longdon,
Rugeley,
Staffs

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