Digging the Dirt

A series of in-depth reports on farms that are investing in their soils, and reaping the benefits.

Lower Smite Farm

Lower Smite farm has been owned by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust since 2001 and demonstrates how sensitive farming techniques can improve the agricultural landscape for wildlife. Caroline Corsie has managed the farm since 2008 and quickly started improving the farms soil health and enhancing the wildlife value of the farm, two factors she believes are closely linked.

"When we started here our soil was impoverished and hungry, now it's thriving."

 

Honeydale Farm

Cotswold Seeds purchased the 107 acre Honeydale Farm back in 2013. Managing Director, Ian Wilkinson, wants to demonstrate how small family farms can use sustainable farming practices whilst maintaining a respectable income.

“I believe there is a need for a change in the farming system. The reliance on monoculture and chemicals is no longer viable." 

Yatesbury House Farm

Richard Gantlett is passionate about his soil. It's his farm's most valuable asset. He recognises that previous management has harmed the soil, but now he works with nature and sees the soil as an ecosystem, which can be enhanced and reinforced with positive health outcomes for the whole farm.

You realise the impact livestock have on soil health when they are removed!

Curlew Call Farm

Jonathan Boaz farms at Curlew Call Farm in Worcestershire. He chooses not to farm organically, but after seeing how intensive production affected his soil, he switched to green manures and compost.

“We’ve been endeavouring to maintain soil organic matter for many many years, having learnt the lesson about 30 years ago that you just can’t take it for granted."

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