The farm is a long standing member of the ‘Environmental Stewardship Scheme’. This scheme aims to create and maintain biodiversity and wildlife habitats through such things are hedgerow management, providing wild bird cover and creating buffer strips alongside the edges of cropped fields. Miles of hedgerows have been planted, acres of wild bird seed planted and dozens of bird and owl boxes put up to encourage the already large populations of bird species (incl 10 on the BTO red list). We have a family of wild deer at the wood, and a large number of hares and owls. We have bird books and lists in the cottages for guests to try and spot any new species. Regular RSPB bird surveys have been carried out showing a large increase in bird populations since the environmental work commenced.
The farm gets involved voluntarily hosting farm walks around the fields and demonstrations in the farmyard for interest groups with The University of York, RSPB and Wildlife and Nature Groups.
The work on the farm has been recognised nationally with the selection of Richard as a finalist in the Countryside Farmer of the Year awards 2009 as well as the northern regional winner of the National RSPB Nature of Farming Awards 2013.
RSPB Nature of Farming Awards 2013
Chris Tomson, RSPB said: "Through wildlife-friendly farming schemes and his own initiative, he has undertaken a huge amount of conservation work for the benefit of everything from butterflies and bats to skylarks and hares. The farm throngs with wildlife and is a joy to visit."