Baroness Hoey on the panel
for CRT Anniversary event, 2013
The Countryside Restoration Trust (CRT) and tenant farmer Tim Scott, would like to invite the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to visit Lark Rise Farm as suggested by Baroness Hoey.

Tim Scott, Lark Rise Farm tenant farmer, states: “I would welcome George Eustice to visit Lark Rise Farm. This would be a great opportunity to impart the knowledge I have learned during my 27-year tenure at CRT’s flagship farm in Cambridgeshire.”

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, there are ongoing deliberations on how the newly formed Environmental Land Management Schemes (ELMs) will impact UK farmers.

Yesterday in the House of Lords, a debate took place examining the support of UK farmers. Following this, Lord McNicol of West Kilbride further questioned how the Government would ensure that farmers can continue to feed the nation alongside nurturing wildlife.

Mosaic of farmland at
Lark Rise Farm, Cambridgeshire
In response, Baroness Hoey suggested that the Secretary of State should visit Lark Rise Farm in Cambridgeshire as “the Countryside Restoration Trust, has successfully pioneered farming for food and wildlife over the last 27 years.”

Watch the full debate

The CRT has established conservation improvements alongside profitable, practical farming and land management on its 16 sites, including its flagship Lark Rise Farm in Cambridgeshire. The CRT has used incentives such as ‘commercial conservation rates’ so farmers pay rent that’s set at a lower level to allow them to farm in a wildlife-friendly way. 

Robin Page
during the ringing
of owls that bred on
Lark Rise Farm
Robin Page, comments: “Now in a post-Brexit era, it is so positive to hear that finally farmers will be encouraged by the Government to recreate habitats so our native wildlife can thrive. The CRT has already brought back brown hares, water voles, barn owls, otters, grey partridges, orchids and 26 species of butterfly [to Lark Rise Farm]”.  

A concept pioneered by the CRT over 27 years ago, wildlife-friendly farming has been part of Mr Scott’s ethos for nearly three decades. “It’s about marrying the two – achieving profitability and farming sympathetically,” he explains.  

Tim Scott, Lark Rise Farm tenant farmer
Mr Scott continues “Simple changes on my farm, such as over-wintering stubble, creating wildlife strips, bat corridors and mosaic fields, and planting over 4.5 miles of hedgerows, has meant it’s now home to an abundance of wildlife. This attention to detail has increased the number of grey partridge, recognised and awarded by Red List Revival; we have some of the highest hare populations in the UK.”

He adds: “At the same time, I’m producing crop yields over the national average, and frequently host farm walks to talk about novel methods of weed control”.

Robin Page thanks Baroness Hoey for yesterdays mention in the House of Lords and agrees that George Eustice should join Mr Scott on a walk around Lark Rise and see how nurturing wildlife and producing for the nation are not mutually exclusive.

Read the full transcript here:

Watch the full debate here: