West Lavington Farms – Sustainability statement
We are a family run organic farm situated on Salisbury Plain. The farm is 1200 acres in size and the bulk of it is on the chalk downland of Salisbury Plain. We have some paddocks in the village of West Lavington and the soil here is greensand. Our farming enterprise is productive and successful and works alongside the huge variety of wildlife. We have an ongoing hedge and tree planting programme. Our hedgerows are very important habitats for wildlife and we leave a margin either side of the hedge for ground nesting birds, small mammals and invertebrates.
Hedges are cut in winter, usually late January or early February. We cut them every other year as the fruits can be borne on last year’s growth, The fruits are left for winter feed for the birds.
Being organic we are insecticide free and are constantly looking at ways to grow strong crops which have a low environmental impact. Our cattle are pedigree native breeds – White Park and Traditional Herefords – who live on Salisbury Plain all year round. If we have very bad weather in the winter they are able to come into the buildings. This has not happened in years as native breeds are incredibly hardy. The sheep enterprise is also based around hardy native breeds. We aim to fatten on grass alone and sell direct to customers, part of our future planning is to have a farm shop selling local produce. All our animals are grazed extensively with very low stocking rates.
Our arable is in a four year rotation with grass leys being used to help reintroduce nutrients and provide a rich grassland for our animals. Our pasture mixes have a variety of root depth and different plant functions to help the soil. Our arable fields have flower rich margins which keeps the land balanced. There is a huge variety of wildlife from fungi to invertebrates and arable weeds.
Wildlife is important to us and we have barn owl boxes as well as kestrel boxes up in our trees. There is also an ongoing plan to plant more trees.
We have a total commitment to sustainability and protecting the environment and are proud of our farm.