Farmers who care

PUBLISHED: 16:41 17 May 2011 | UPDATED: 19:23 20 February 2013

Farmers who care

Farmers who care

Wildlife is thriving in Shropshire thanks to farmers like Robert Kynaston


Harvest home

Wildlife is thriving in Shropshire thanks to farmers like Robert Kynaston

Robert Kynaston is a devoted custodian of the British countryside and for the past 24 years has farmed and nurtured 242 acres of woodland and fields at Great Wollaston Farm. When not tending to the land, Robert takes care of his herd of 100 cows that supply over a million pints of milk a year.

Like hundreds of farms around the country, Great Wollaston Farm, near Shrewsbury is a member of LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), a farming charity that helps farmers and producers, at home and abroad, manage their farms as efficiently and sustainably as possible.

Producing good food is a real commitment but producing it while caring for the environment is equally important to create and maintain an environment with an abundance of wildlife habitants for future generations to enjoy. Robert regenerates hedgerows, planting trees, creating grass strips around fields and looking after his air, soil and water quality, which in turn also creates more food for the wildlife.

LEAF offers practical tools such as a self-assessment environmental audit and The Green Box, which looks at soil, water, biodiversity and air, to help farmers record information about the wildlife on their farms and to measure the positive impact their management techniques are having on the environment. The LEAF marque is an assurance scheme that helps customers see the food they are buying has been produced by farmers who care for the environment.

Robert has been named by the RSPB as one of Englands 10 most inspirational wildlife-friendly farmers. Great Wollaston is home to tree sparrows, yellowhammers, brown hares, water voles and greater crested newts and one of LEAFs 70 demonstration farms that host visits throughout the year to a broad range of groups. Last year, Robert welcomed 270 people through his farm gate. LEAF also organises Open Farm Sunday, an annual event that attracts 180,000 people to 450 farms throughout Great Britain. This years event is on June 12, with a record number of farms opening. Many of the farms are free to enter and provide a fun family day out.

Visit www.leafuk.org.uk for a full list of LEAF Demonstration Farms or www.farmsunday.org to find a farm near you that will open its gates on June 12.



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