News and blog News stories [19.06.19] The Silver Lapwing Award 2019 Results Announced A Norfolk Farmer has been recognised by the farming and conservation industry for his outstanding efforts to promote good habitat and environmental management on his farm. Charles Inglis was awarded the highly-coveted Silver Lapwing Award, which is now in its 42nd year. Hole Farm, was awarded from a national shortlist of seven farms, each selected for demonstrating outstanding commitment to good environmental practices, alongside running successful farm businesses. Finalists, Judges and sponsors for 2019. From Left: Martin Hole, Judge, Aloysia Daros, Smith & Williamson, Rose and Robin Carver, Hole Farm, winning farm, Duncan Sinclair, Waitrose, Charles Beaumont, Head Judge, Katherine and David Butler, East Wick Farm, runners-up (behind), Glenda Thomas, FWAG Wales, representing Llyr Jones, finalist (in front), John and Sue Billington, Adbaston Hall, runners-up, Debbie Windebank, representing Edward Tupper, finalist, David Rose, finalist, James Turner, finalist The 2019 FWAG Silver Lapwing Award was presented to Robin Carver (Charles’ father-in-law) on Monday 17th June 2019 by Charles Beaumont, Silver Lapwing Head Judge, Martin Hole, Silver Lapwing Judge, and Duncan Sinclair, Partner and Agriculture Manager for Waitrose & Partners. Rose and Robin Carver, Charles Inglis' Parents-in-Law, of Hole Farm, Norfolk, receiving the Silver Lapwing Trophy for 2019 Charles Inglis said on winning the award: "What an honour to be presented with the Silver Lapwing Award, particularly against such stiff competition. It is a special moment for myself and my parents-in-law Robin and Rose Carver, this will motivate us to continue our conservation work at Hole Farm. We are so thrilled and very proud to have been presented this award which will be in pride of place for the next year". The judges commented that the competition was incredibly high this year and for the first time in Silver Lapwing history, the judges awarded two equal runners-up. David and Katherine Butler of East Wick Farm, Wiltshire (our FWAG South West Barn Owl winner for 2018) and John & John Billington of Adbaston Hall and Kemsey Manor, Shropshire. Katherine and David Butler, East Wick Farm, Silver Lapwing 2019 Runners-up The celebrations this year coincided with the FWAG Associations 50th Anniversary. To celebrate this Anniversary the FWAG Association will be releasing a series of short videos on social media throughout the year, celebrating the associations’ history and showcasing the diverse range of supporters that FWAG has. Around 100 attendees from all sectors of the British farming and agriculture industry attended the award presentation and lunch. The presentation was followed by a tour of Castletown Estate, which includes 2500 acres of farmed salt marsh, highlighting some of the reasons why the farm won the Silver Lapwing Award in 2018. Guests at lunch Guests on the farm walk of Castletown Estate, lead by Toby Mounsey-Heysham, Owner, James Marshall, Farm and Estate Manager, and Bart Donato and Henry Conn, Farm Advisers from Natural England. About the FWAG Silver Lapwing Award To win this prestigious and longstanding award, a farm has to demonstrate a real commitment to species and habitat conservation and be able to show how they integrate their environmental management in their overall farm business. Understanding and conserving historic aspects of the farm is also important. In addition, consideration is given to the farm’s approach to conserving natural resources; this includes good soil management, the protection of water quality and efficient use of water and energy. These are all areas that the judges consider on their tour of the competition finalists. About the FWAG Association The national FWAG Association represents local Farming & Wildlife Advisory Groups (FWAGs) across the UK in partnership with the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) and LEAF. These groups have helped British farmers for over five decades, providing trusted, independent, environmental advice. About the 2019 Winner Charles Inglis (& Father-in-Law Robin Carver) Hole Farm, Norfolk Bought in 1982 this 668 acre Norfolk prairie farm had individual fields up to 140 acres. Soil erosion was estimated by the University of East Anglia at 150m³/ha/yr on the steeper slopes. An impressive program of planting shelter belts, 9 miles of hedgerows and farming practices aimed at sustainability, has turned the farm from an environmental and economic disaster into a profitable, thriving wildlife haven. The landscape has been transformed with 160 acres of wildlife rich, superbly managed woodland which includes black walnut and cricket bat willow plantations. A recognition that modern farming practices have impacted on wildlife has motivated the family to go the extra mile by digging ponds and scrapes, and providing top quality, innovative and diverse areas for farmland birds and pollinators. Species on the Red and Amber lists appear among the surveys of butterflies, bees, beetles, birds, dragonfly, arable plants and fungi, which demonstrates that nature has rewarded the hard work and commitment to conservation. About the two 2019 Runners-Up Richard, David & Katherine Butler, East Wick Farm, Wiltshire East Wick Farm is a mixed tenure 720ha farm run using a mixed farming approach. As well as combinable crops the Butlers run a 300 head dairy and 160 beef. Milk goes to a supermarket with an audited grazing policy. East Wick farm manages Martinsell Hill, an Iron Age Hillfort (SM) which has Duke of Burgundy Butterflies. The farm has a comprehensive Higher Level Stewardship agreement and amongst many options has planted over five miles of hedges. Under the Farm Woodland Premium Scheme, 6 ha of broadleaf woodland has been planted. New ponds have been created. Priorities include reducing energy usage, protecting soils and enhancing biodiversity. The farm hosts regular school visits and David is involved with ‘Facetime the Farmer’. David has recently successfully completed BASIS training to help minimise pesticide applications. The farm is a member of the Pewsey Downs Farmer’s cluster group. John & John Billington (Father & Son), Adbaston Hall, Staffordshire and Kemsey Manor, Shropshire A 650 acre arable farm, growing Wheat, Oilseed rape and Barley. Over 10% of the farm is in Stewardship; including 11 wild birdseed patches, many pollen & nectar plots and 36 acres of buffer margins. 8 acres of ponds, all watercourses and woodland having grass buffers. 10 acres of natural woodland have been supplemented by 8 acres planted in the last 40 years, feeding a log burner that heats two houses and a grain drying system. 1.7km of hedges have been planted and 2km laid under Stewardship. Soil structure has always been key to the farm. Low-pressure tyres were introduced in the early 90’s. Precision farming started in 2009 with a GPS sprayer allowing accurate placement of pesticides and fertiliser, yield mapping in 2012 and auto steerage in 2016. During 2018 no till drilling and variable rate fertiliser was introduced with funding from Staffordshire LEADER. About the four Finalists for 2019 David Rose, Home Farm, Nottinghamshire David Rose has been running Home Farm at Screveton since the 1980’s when he took over from his family, who have farmed here since 1933. Using his networks, knowledge and innovative approach to farming and environmental management, he established Farmeco Community Care to improve community engagement in food production and environment management. David planted over 5,000 trees in the indigenous edible woodland and the farming areas to improve soil protection, crop production, wildlife and pollinators attraction and income generation. He has established superb links with the wider communities and the city dwellers through training, market days, health and wellbeing initiatives. Edward Tupper, Littleton Farm, West Sussex Edward Tupper runs Littleton Farm, a mixed 1500 acre family farm on the South Downs in West Sussex. The farm was in a higher level HLS/ELS agreement for the last 10 years, under which Edward had restored and maintained whole fields, part fields and created margins and skylark plots that are now brimming with flora and fauna including rare orchids and butterflies. The investment in 6 in-calf Sussex heifers in 2008, has grown to a pedigree suckler herd of over 40, which act as the farm’s ‘environmental lawn mowers’. Now in a Countryside Stewardship Higher Tier Agreement, Edward is looking to create more new woodland to further encourage the ‘wildlife corridor’ along the South Downs. James Turner, Brackenburgh Home Farms, Cumbria 650 acres of profitable arable crops established by min-til on a 2000 acre mixed enterprise farm in Cumbria is unusual, enabling a raft of environmental activities to be incorporated into the traditional rotation. Grass margins, billowing hedgerows and wild bird seed planting help support some 80 species of farmland birds. Imaginative enhancement of the riparian corridor along the river Petteril has provided a buffer from the dairy unit where 250 crossbred, summer grazed cows are milked. Coppicing existing alders and planting 1,800 mixed species trees along both banks and leaving fenced off tussocky grass for barn owls, has boosted river invertebrate life dramatically. Most of the grassland for the 850 lowland ewe flock is grown from injected slurry from the dairy herd. Of interest is the restoration of 800 acre of lowland heath from birch and bracken scrub. This diverse habitat is grazed by a herd of native suckler cows and their calves and 400 Herdwick ewes in the winter. Llŷr Jones, Derwydd, Wales Derwydd is a 1600 acre upland farm that runs a 1100 ewe closed flock. All lambs are fattened on grass or root crops and sold on a Tesco cost of production (COP) contract. The farm has been in environmental schemes for the last 16 years. Llŷr leaves 30 acres a year fallow over winter following spring crops, as a food source for birds and has been working tirelessly with Natural Resources Wales, enhancing the heather moorland on his mountain at Llandegla to the benefit of species such as black grouse. Derwydd is rich in ancient woodland and streamside corridors and Llŷr has increased the woodland area on the farm via the Glastir Woodland Creation scheme. The farm runs a 16,000 hen, free-range egg unit, selling eggs to Tesco (COP contract) and he is a co-owner of Blodyn Aur, a bee-friendly, Welsh rapeseed oil company. All the farm’s energy is generated on-farm through hydro-electric and solar power schemes with a 60Kw ground source heat pump supplying the farm’s heating requirements. Three full-time members of staff are employed on the farm along with two weekend staff.