Hamp­shire Estate recog­nised for High Envi­ron­men­tal Standards 

Lock­er­ley Estate in Hamp­shire has become the lat­est farm to be recog­nised by sus­tain­able farm­ing organ­i­sa­tion, LEAF (Link­ing Envi­ron­ment And Farm­ing) for its high envi­ron­men­tal stan­dards and com­mit­ment to deliv­er­ing more sus­tain­able farming.

Lockerley Estate in Hampshire has become the latest farm to be recognised by sustainable farming organisation, LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) for its high environmental standards and commitment to delivering more sustainable farming.

Formally launched on the 3rd October 2019, as a LEAF Demonstration Farm by LEAF Honorary President, Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex, the Estate joins a UK wide network of farms set up to demonstrate the sustainable farming practices of Integrated Farm Management (IFM) to a broad range of audiences.

Owned by the Sainsbury family since the mid-1980’s and located in East Tytherley, Hampshire, Lockerley is a 1,000 hectare arable and sheep farm incorporating a working forestry enterprise. Farming practices revolve around creating healthy soils, integrated with high environmental conservation measures. The Estates overall objective is to increase biodiversity, to farm responsibly and sustainably, without jeopardising productivity.

Speaking at the launch, Sarah Butler Sloss, explained that she and her two brothers, Mark and Julian Sainsbury, had taken over the Estate four years ago, with little knowledge of farming. During this time, extensive measures have been taken to build up the health and resilience of the soil and make it fit for the 21st Century as well as increase the wildlife and biodiversity on the farm.

Ms Butler Sloss explained:

“It has been a fascinating journey and we are well on the way to achieving our aims for Lockerley – through the extensive support and partnerships that make up our team here and beyond.

We face a climate emergency; farmers and land managers have a critical role to play. As farmers we can sequest carbon, we can help bring back the wonderful and rich wildlife, we can grow more nutritious and healthy food. We can also, at the same time, help increase our financial margins.

This is our mission and our drive; we want to maximise our goals every year. We have much to be proud but more to learn, do and achieve. For these reasons, it is very exciting for all of us at Lockerley to be launched as a LEAF Demonstration Farm and be part of an extensive network of like-minded farmers to learn from and help us in our endeavours.”

Caroline Drummond, Chief Executive of LEAF paid tribute to all the Lockerley team and added:

“What makes things happen is ultimately people; connections and partnerships help support and deliver change. We live in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. The rate of climate change and the effect it is going to have on agriculture is huge. The holistic principles of IFM offer great potential in supporting farmers to address challenges in a balanced, productive and effective way. The vision, drive, dedication and attention to detail put into practice here is outstanding. We are delighted and honoured to welcome Lockerley Estate as a LEAF Demonstration Farm, huge congratulations and thank you for agreeing to be part of the LEAF Network. We greatly look forward to working with you.”

Farm Manager, Craig Livingstone concluded:

“We are very proud of what we have achieved. We have moved away from a smaller closed rotation, introduced cover crops and sheep; we produce our own farmyard manure and compost. Pesticide use has been reduced by 22% and our wheat gross margin has increased by 60% in four years. Our soils are becoming alive and increasing in resilience for this climate stressed world. IFM provides a great framework to how we farm at Lockerley. Ultimately, it is the team I work with and their willingness to embrace change that is at the heart of our all we do. Without them none of the achievements over the last three and a half years would have been possible.”

Lockerley Estate joins a UK wide network of 38 Demonstration Farms set up to communicate, discuss and demonstrate IFM best practice to other farmers as well as wider groups such as politicians, industry groups and students.

The official launch of Lockerley Estate as a LEAF Demonstration Farm took place on Thursday 3rd October 2019 was attended by HRH The Countess of Wessex, LEAF Honorary President; Sarah Butler Sloss, Mark Sainsbury; Julian Sainsbury; Philip Wynn, LEAF Chairman, Cedric Porter, LEAF Vice Chairman and Caroline Drummond, LEAF Chief Executive.

We gratefully acknowledge the following for their support towards the launch of Lockerley Estate as a LEAF Demonstration Farm

Further information on Lockerley Estate and LEAF’s other Demonstration Farms can be found here leaf.eco/farming/leaf-demonstration-farms. Pre-arranged visits to LEAF Demonstration Farms are arranged through the LEAF head office.

Full press release.

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