6 May 2011
Sir Richard Sutton's Settled Estates in Lincolnshire entered into an Organic Entry Level/Higher Level Stewardship agreement in February 2008.
Chris Dowse, manager of the 3,000 hectare arable estate, says: "The application process for both OELS and HLS was made very much easier by the help and support of the Natural England advisers."
The agreement will provide environmental and historical benefits on the estate, such as the protection and preservation of nine scheduled monuments.
Funding will also help the local community and visitors, with plans to restore parkland benefiting those using existing footpaths, and further proposed access routes across the estate allowing groups to visit and gain a greater understanding of a mixed organic farming system.
Habitat restoration across the estate will provide huge biodiversity benefits for farmland bird species such as lapwing, barn owls and grey partridge, with options such as fallow plots, wild bird seed mix and pollen and nectar mix widely distributed throughout the landscape. The farm is an excellent example of how modern farming methods can happily sit alongside the delivery of environmental and historic objectives.
"Many of the ES management options we have chosen to implement on the estate complement our existing farming practices, for example, the wild bird seed mixtures have been planted in various locations around the farm to provide a food source for small birds, such as finches and buntings, and also game."