Reward for lifelong passion for conservation
and farming have been lifelong passions for the winner of the English
Nature Farming for Wildlife Award, at the NFUs Farming Excellence
Awards, announced today.
award recognises achievements in nature conservation and provides
funds for further wildlife projects on the winning farms.
winner, Tom Meikles interest in wildlife and conservation
began in childhood when his father began planting trees on the family
farm, work that Tom has continued.
is a local committee member of the Farming and Wildlife Advisory
Group (FWAG), hosts visits by conservationists to his farm and is
committed to Farm Assurance and the Voluntary Initiative.
produces sugar beet, salad onions, dwarf beans, barley and wheat
and integrated farming practice is at the heart of the business.
His farm also provides a haven for otters, badgers and a wide variety
keeps meticulous records of crop rotations and chooses varieties
with disease resistance and use-thresholds for pest control. River
meadows are alternately grazed with sheep and cattle to prevent
parasite build up.
next project is to create a reed bed system which will restore an
old pond, reduce pollution and encourage wildlife.
receives a certificate, a brass farm gate plaque a prize of £1,000
and up to £6,000 to help fund future conservation projects.
President Tim Bennett said: Tom has proved that caring for
the British countryside and wildlife can go hand in hand with running
a profitable and diverse farm business and is a worthy winner.
of English Nature, Sir Martin Doughty said: I would like to
congratulate Mr Miekle on winning the English Nature Farming for
success in creating so many new wildlife habitats, and his commitment
and enthusiasm for conservation, are an example to us all.
environmentally sensitive approach to farm management demonstrates
how wildlife friendly farming and running a profitable farm business,
can go hand in hand.
runner-up, Martin Baird of Red Hall in Cumbria receives £200
as recognition of conservation work, which includes restoring hedgerows
and managing the fodder beet on his dairy farm to provide cover
for birds. Martin recently purchased 22 acres which he plans to
manage as a wetland habitat and will also receive up to £3,000
to help with further conservation work on his farm.
award is also supported by Country Life magazine.