Elston Farm Copplestone Agroforestry Open Farm Day

The multiple benefits of moving away from conventional farming techniques is demonstrated for real at Elstone Farm, Copplestone. On 19th May, Andy Gray, opened his farm to the public to find out more. Volunteers from Sustainable Crediton, who had helped plant the rows of trees in newly seeded flowery meadows several years ago, were delighted to see how well they're growing.

 We heard about the benefits that converting fields on the lower slopes of his farm to grass and trees were bringing to his farming operation and the cottages sitting at the bottom of the hill. The annual flooding of the cottages, when the land was ploughed each year for arable crops, has ceased. As we stood listening to Andy's eloquent and passionate explanation, we could also hear the insects and birds around us living amongst the wildflowers and trees around us. At the same time, Andy pointed out that his spreadsheets show the benefit to his animals and the bottom-line of his food production company. His commitment earned him a place in the finals of the BBC's Food and Farming Awards in 2023.

To find out more about Andy's farm see this video: why are we researching silvopasture design? 

To find out more about agroforestry have a look at the Soil Association website.

Sarah Alsbury

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