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Friends Open Day

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Are you a Friend of the CRT? If so, then we would like to invite you to attend a special Friends only Open Day at Pierrepont Farm, Surrey on Sunday 22nd October.

Pierrepont Farm was kindly gifted to the Countryside Restoration Trust in 2006 by Jo Baker and we are currently undertaking an extensive programme of restoration to the buildings whilst conserving the meadows, farmland and woodland areas and we would like to share this with you. Come and have a tour of the robotic milking machines in the dairy, listen to various talks about the CRT and Pierrepont Farm, accompany our wildlife experts on some tours of the meadows and then mingle with fellow friends over some refreshments.

Friends will also be invited behind the scenes of the Pierrepont Project and will learn about how we are managing the conversion of a collection of redundant farm buildings to create a mix of food, office studio and craft units. Pierrepont already has an exceptional reputation for supporting craft, food and drink entrepreneurs with Tenant Farmer Mike supplying rawmilk from a robotic dairy and Frensham Brewary reviving local craft beer production with an award winning micro-brewary, which will of course be open and serving beer to thirsty punters!

We will soon be writing to each of our Friends to personally invite them and a guest to attend this special event at one of the jewels in the CRT crown. Friends will be asked to RSVP, so that we can effectively manage the event and ensure everyone is catered for. If you cannot wait to receive your invitation, please register your interest here:

Friends Open Day - Register your Interest

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    We will email you updates about the event and any relevant CRT news.
Tim Scott

Lark Rise adopts low-drift policy

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Lark Rise Tenant Farmer, Tim Scott, was featured in this week’s edition of Farmer’s Weekly due to the innovative method he has adopted when spraying his crops.

Lark Rise is the CRT’s flagship wildlife-friendly farm, which Tim manages using environmentally sympathetic methods whilst looking to retain a high yield. Ensuring the sprays he uses are hitting the required targets is an integral part of his management plan.

Tim has trialled various nozzles  to ensure that his technique for applying crop protection products is as bullet proof as possible. Following an autumn of poor blackgrass control, Tim moved away from an Amistar nozzle providing a water rate of 100 litres/ha to a 3D nozzle which improved performance, but increased drift due to the flat fan type nozzle. Many standard nozzles provide a mist made up of fine droplets, which is excellent for pest control on the required crops, but does drift a substantial amount. This is obviously not good for grass margins and the surrounding areas.

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Pierrepont development

Pierrepont Project

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Pierrepont is a 200 acre heathland farm near Frensham in rural Surrey, approximately one hour from central London. At its heart is a working dairy farm and an extraordinary collection of historic Grade II listed farm buildings, surrounded by idyllic countryside and wonderful wildlife.

The farm was kindly gifted to the Countryside Restoration Trust in 2006 by Jo Baker. The Trust are undertaking an extensive programme of restoration to the buildings whilst conserving the meadows, farmland and woodland areas.

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Lark Rise Discovery Day

Discovering Lark Rise

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On Friday 4th August the CRT opened the gates to our Flagship Farm, Lark Rise and invited Friends, families, volunteers and anybody wanting to embrace the outdoors to come along and discover the very essence of the British countryside on our wildlife-friendly farm.

After a damp and windy run up to the event, staff and volunteers managed to secure the marquees and gazebos which had gone airborne and try to ensure the car park didn’t turn in to a quagmire! Thankfully, once the tireless gusts had finished their assault on our tents, they worked in our favour, sweeping the bad weather away and drying the ground underfoot.

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Tim Scott South Cambs Environmental Champion

Tim Scott appointed Environmental Champion

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The Countryside Restoration Trust (CRT) is pleased to announce that Tim Scott, tenant farmer on our flagship farm, Lark Rise, has been appointed as Environmental Champion for South Cambs.

 

Tim has worked with the CRT for the past 24 years and has been integral in transforming Lark Rise Farm from an intensively farmed wildlife desert into a productive 400 acre arable farm which now teems with wildlife. This has been achieved using sympathetic farming methods such as crop rotations, leaving over-wintering stubble, beetle banks, wildlife strips and creating smaller fields by planting over 4.5 miles of new hedgerows. Tim’s understanding of the relationship between farming and wildlife was recognised when he was awarded the prestigious GWCT Grey Partridge East Anglian Trophy in 2015, for his efforts in fighting the decline of the iconic farmland bird. He was also recognised in 2016 by the Redlist Revival and received an award for being in the top 10% for the Range of Priority Farmland Birds within the Redlist Benchmark.

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Pierrepont Herd

Speaking up for the cows

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Chairman’s Blog – by Robin Page

 

“Humane Milk is a Myth Don’t buy it. I went vegan the day I visited a dairy. The mothers, still bloody from birth, searched and called frantically for their babies……” so read a Vegan inspired full-page advert in The Times recently with no mention of who the “I” actually was.

My irritation was triggered because I was born on a farm with a small dairy herd (where I still live). The advert presented a scene that was unfamiliar to me. My first memories of the farm are of my father sitting on a three-legged stool, milking by hand. My last recent memory of milking was at The Countryside Restoration Trust’s brilliant Jersey herd at Pierrepont Farm in Surrey where the milking was being performed by two robots, guided by lasers – incredible – my father would have been astonished – as I was. A third robot is due to start next week.

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2017 CRT Events

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Throughout the year the Countryside Restoration Trust are holding numerous events for both Friends and members of the public.

All of the events we hold are a great opportunity to showcase the fantastic work we do on each of our farms and demonstrate how farming with wildlife in mind is not only possible but the way forward. By opening our farms and inviting supporters to learn about the importance of the British Countryside, we aim to give our CRT Friends, supporters and visitors experiences that are emotionally rewarding, intellectually stimulating and inspirational.

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Pierrepont Open Farm Sunday Postponed

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We regret to announce that the Open Farm Sunday event which is due to be held at Pierrepont Farm on 11th June has been postponed.

 

Unfortunately, one of the farm’s much loved cows has registered a second inconclusive TB test result last week. This is an incredibly stressful time for tenant farmers, Mike and Bev Clear and our thoughts are with them.

As soon as we are able to confirm a revised date for Pierrepont’s open day, we will announce details on the website.

To ensure you keep up to date with any CRT news, please subscribe to our newsletter by clicking on ‘newsletter signup’ at the top of the page. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Special CRT Friends Events

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A Dawn Chorus Blog by Sarah Stannage, CRT Director

When you join as a CRT Friend, you will receive invitations to free special CRT Friends events throughout the year. Here’s just a taste of what you could enjoy as a CRT Friend.

When my daughter Lottie (aged 5) and I decided to head out to the Countryside Restoration Trust (CRT’s) Twyford Farm in the Ashdown Forest we experienced something truly magical as part of International Dawn Chorus Day.

We stayed overnight at the Farm’s B&B run by CRT Tenant Farmers Liz and Bob Felton, who greeted us with a wonderful and warm welcome along with Bruce and Colin – the farm’s working sheep dogs who immediately became my daughter’s best friends. After breathing in the views from Bellflower Cottage and watching Bob feed the sheep we settled in for the night and set the alarm.

It’s 4.15am. We are awake, just. According to my weather App it’s quite a mild ten degrees centigrade outside so we’re dressed in our coats and wearing our wellies we meet up with Dr. Vince Lea, CRT’s Head of Wildlife and five other CRT Friends to hear the springtime twittering, tweeting and chirping of the wild birds. According to Vince the Dawn Chorus is all to do with territory and raising chicks. The male birds want to show off to any females in the area and warn their rivals by letting them know that they have found the best patch of delicious take-away food! Without a doubt singing is really hard work, so only the strongest males are the ones that can boast and sing the loudest. And it’s this that shows the females which male is best placed to feed hungry chicks!

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Lark Rise Discovery Day

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The CRT would like to invite you behind the scenes at Lark Rise Farm on Friday 4th August as part of National Countryside Week. The Lark Rise Discovery Day will focus very much on encouraging people to engage with the countryside and educating attendees on the importance of Wildlife Friendly farming.
Whether it rains or shines or whether the combine is still harvesting, there are lots of fun activities and demonstrations planned across the farm. Butterfly surveys and activities, build a butterfly biome, conservation activities and guided farm walks around our beautiful meadows. Meet the farmer, wildlife and conservation experts and hone your identification skills, everyone is welcome!

With an afternoon embracing wildlife and getting a taste of conservation on Lark Rise Farm, we’ve got “fast slow food” from Provenance Kitchen, our own BBQ, locally made cider and other refreshments for the kids and the non-cider fans!

Please note – The ground is very uneven in places. Come fair or shine the walks and activities are suitable for children aged 3+ (all children must be accompanied by an adult). The event will be held behind the site for the new HQ at 51 Wimpole Road BARTON, Cambridge. For car parking please follow signs once on Wimpole Road. For SAT NAV use CB23 7AG. For more information on Lark Rise and it’s location please click here.

Please bring binoculars & cameras and share images of the day on the CRT’s Facebook page.

 The event will be free of charge and will run from 11am until 6pm.

Lark Rise Farm in the village of Barton near Cambridge. There are good cycle paths from Cambridge and buses run regularly from the city centre and surrounding areas.

To register your interest in Lark Rise Discovery Day, please fill in the form below:

Register your Interest

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    We will email you updates about the event and any relevant CRT news.

 

Lark Rise Discovery Day will replace the previous Festivals of Farming Food and Wildlife, which were held on Bird’s Farm.