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Henry is a winner for wildlife

Date Published: 04/10/2012

An OF&G-certified farmer has been named the winner in the RSPBs’ Nature of Farming Awards for 2012.

Henry Edmunds, of Cholderton Estate, in Wiltshire, won a public vote for the national title after making a shortlist of four regional winners from across the UK.

The diversity of wildlife on the 1,600ha mixed organic farm secured the accolade for the estate, which milks 300 cows, has beef cattle and runs a flock of native Hampshire Downs sheep.

The success is the result of 30 years of hard work by Henry and his family which has led to a farm thriving with diversity that is home to, among other bird species, corn buntings, lapwings and grey partridges, alongside a multitude of other wildlife and rare plants.

Cholderton Estate is largely self-sufficient with crops grown year-round to feed to the cattle, chosen for their suitability to organic systems and none being sold off the farm.

Income from the milk production is supplemented by diverse enterprises, including a woodland burial site, a farm shop, rented premises for light industry and rented grazing, which allow the estate to support local employment and its own future.

Richard Jacobs, chief executive of Organic Farmers & Growers, said: “We were delighted to hear that Henry Edmunds had won this award. Cholderton Estate is widely recognised for being at the forefront of sustainable farming and is a fine example of organic food production supporting diverse wildlife and still being economically successful.

“The benefits of this approach are widely shared with visitors, including school groups, and many people will leave the estate thinking more deeply about how farming can be about long term environmental benefits and not just about the value of the next crop, flock or herd. We thoroughly congratulate Henry, his family and his staff for this achievement and hope that their success continues to inspire others.”