Lockerley Estate is a 1,000 hectare arable and sheep farm with a working forestry enterprise situated in East Tytherley, Hampshire.
Farmer: Craig Livingstone
Address: East Tytherley, Hampshire, SO20 8DF
Member since 2019 and LEAF Demonstration Farm since 2019
Certification: LEAF Marque
Lockerley Estate is a 1,000 ha arable and sheep farm with a working forestry enterprise. It is owned by the Sainsbury family and has a long tradition of farming with the long term economic and environmental sustainability of the business in mind. Farming practices revolve around creating healthy soils, integrated with high environmental and conservation measures. A seven-year crop rotation is employed consisting of winter and spring crops including wheat, barley, beans, oats, oilseed rape and clover grass leys. Crops are grown with an eye to local customers and are sold for both premium and animal export markets. Cover and catch crops are also grown, integrated with a range of cultivation practices focusing on reduced tillage, to help improve soil quality and resilience.
There is a relationship with a local grazier where grass and cover crops are grazed by sheep. The farm currently rents a cattle building to a local farmer, however there are plans to introduce cattle and manage in hand due to the benefits of integration and grass leys.
Soil biology monitoring takes place on six satellite stations to measure the impacts on the soil of crop rotations, imported materials and livestock. Capturing this vital data helps inform future soil management strategies. Through managed cultivations, reduced wheeling’s and traffic, use of section control, GPS and recording technology, Lockerley are successfully optimising their use of inputs.
The Estate’s overall approach is to farm sustainably and responsibly without jeopardising productivity. They are in a mid-tier Countryside Stewardship scheme, which covers woodland management to provide valuable habitats for a range of birds and insects. Extensive work has been carried across the farm to improve connectivity between these valuable habitats through careful management of hedges and field margins and establishment of beetle banks. The Estate is also involved in a number of environmental improvement projects including Wallop Brook Farmers - a catchment project linking up habitats between farms across the local area. This involves arable flora, hedgerows and boundaries workshops, soil surveys and involvement in the Redlist bird survey.
Woodland is a large part of the business at Lockerley Estate. The woodland has been actively managed by the Sainsbury family since 1983. It provides a wealth of environmental and landscape benefits including carbon sequestration, reducing soil erosion, providing sources of renewable energy, clean air as well as offering education, sporting and employment benefits. The Lockerley Estate woodlands also includes the Mottisfont Bats Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation, and Broughton Down Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The Estate has a strong commitment to community outreach as a way of promoting British agriculture and the work farmers do to manage and enhance the countryside. Strong links have been established with several local groups who regularly visit the Estate, so they understand the progression of farming throughout the year. The Estate also hosts visits for the Wallop Brook Farmers catchment project as the ‘soil focus farm’. They welcome visitors as part of LEAF Open Farm Sunday and have recently opened a new office providing meeting and classroom facilities.
If you are interested in visiting this LEAF Demonstration Farm, then please contact [email protected]. Thank you.