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Arable Farmers Backing Campaign for Farmed Environment

24 March 2014

UK - Lowland arable farmers across England have stepped up to the mark and are showing support for an invigorated Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE) by adopting voluntary environmental measures that sit alongside productive agriculture.

Last year, the CFE expanded from its original remit to cover farms throughout lowland England. Eight simple steps have been developed to help arable farmers protect soils and water as well as benefitting wildlife on their farms. Since then arable farmers have been accessing CFE advice through a network of local coordinators.

Long Plain near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, is a 597 acre farm that has been run by the Cornforth family since 1914 and owned by them since 1922.

Farm manager, Derek Cornforth has moved to a controlled traffic farming system to improve soil structure and help reduce fuel costs and emissions. He grows some 30 acres of game and cover crops on his farm each year and has noticed a remarkable change in wildlife activity.

“We see plenty of brown hares and farmland birds such as curlews, skylark and lapwings around here so we feel that we are doing something right,” said Mr Cornforth.

“Everything has its place on the farm and our stewardship and voluntary management fits in with the commercial business. We have always made a conscious effort to combine the two - it just seems sensible practice as we are keepers of the countryside. It’s easy to take unprofitable land out of production and give it back to nature. That makes business sense.”

Farmers can find out how to support the CFE by visiting where the seven simple steps for lowland livestock farmers can be found along with the established simple steps for arable businesses.

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