Nearly 40% of all England's dairy farms are now in Entry Level Stewardship, demonstrating the ways in which good environmental land management is being successfully married with intensively managed grassland systems.
David has a 150-head Holstein/Friesian dairy herd - which produces 1.2 million litres of milk per year - 250 breeding ewes, and an intensive beef enterprise. The 600 acre farm also produces milling wheat, forage maize and barley.
David has been in Entry Level Stewardship since April 2006 and would encourage other farmers to sign up to the scheme, he says:
"I selected options most suited to my farm business, completed the forms and signed up. We have found ELS easy to manage and straightforward to implement within our existing farming practices."
David has chosen ELS options which complement his existing farning practices, such as ditch management, overwintered stubbles and just under 2 miles of woodland fence maintenance. He also has mixed stocking, low input grassland and maintenance of in-field tree options on the farm.
As a result of his environmental management, David has seen an increased number and variety of species in his farm.
"Each year the British Trust for Ornithology carry out a breeding survey on our farm - this year over 50 species have been recorded, including a real rarity, the nightingale. We have also seen increases in many other farmland birds including skylarks, lapwings and goldfinch."