Here at Billow Farm, we are extremely passionate about protecting British wildlife and the land on which we farm.
We are an organic farm, meaning that we do not use chemical-based pesticides or fertilisers on our crops, enhancing the health of the soil, local wildlife and our grazing horses!
We instead use natural alternatives, such as liquid seaweed, which stimulates the germination of our wheat and barley, ensuring good ground cover and discouraging the growth of weeds.
We also work hard to provide natural habitats for the native wildlife, of which many species are in decline in the UK.
We have plenty of thick hedgerows, including Hawthorne, Blackthorne, Spindle, Honeysuckle and Holly, encouraging dormice and, we hope, turtle doves.
Every field has a border of wildflower margins, which are home to a diverse range of insects, including butterflies, bees and crickets.
There is also over eight acres of ‘game cover’ on Billow Farm, keeping what remains of our harvested crops tall enough to provide shelter and food for over-winter seed-eating birds, such as Redwing and Fieldfares. Our wheat, barley, rye and sunflowers help these birds to survive through the colder months.
Our Partridge Project will continue again next Spring, rearing English Grey partridge chicks and releasing them onto our farm land.
We are also incredibly proud to have barn and tawny owls nesting on our land! Loss of habitat has meant a lack of appropriate nesting sites and scarcity of prey for these majestic animals, and although the barn owl saw a significant decline over the twentieth century, the good news is that it is suggested that numbers have began to increase more recently! Hooray for the barn owl!
We believe that education has an important role to play in conservation. There is so much that can be done at home and in your own gardens to encourage and protect wildlife – from planting wildflowers, to thinking about how you discard your rubbish.
We offer free farm visits to schools and charities, providing a sensory-rich day of fun, learning how nature and the countryside contribute to our everyday lives.
If you would like to know more about our conservation work or farm visits, we would love to hear from you!
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01453 810242.
We hope you enjoyed reading our very first blog as much as we enjoyed writing it!