With environmental issues so much in the news at the moment, we have lots of discussions at home about how we can improve our farming practices and Cotswold Glamping be more ‘environmentally friendly’. Andrew and I have always been keen to encourage wildlife on the farm, but with our children (now 10, 13 and 15) expressing strong opinions on the future of our countryside and the wider environmental crisis facing the world, we find ourselves being driven and challenged by them to do more. As a result we are in the process of drawing up a 5 year farm environmental plan which we will make available to guests staying with us. Here are a few things that we have done so far:
Since buying Doe Bank back in 2008
Installed a 45 kw solar panel system to run farm, house and Glamping electricity through the day.
Planted 2,500 hedging plants.
Planted 81 native trees
Established a traditional apple, pear and plum orchard.
Introduced wide grass margins around arable fields to create wildlife corridors right across the farm.
Planted wildflower strips and created permanent wood piles (grandly known as insect hotels! )
A few of our aims for the next 5 years:
Reduce artificial fertilizer use by 20%
Reduce spray use by 20%.
Improve soil health (Organic matter and soil carbon)
We are seeing more yellow hammers in the hedges around the farm and Little Owls in the orchard and willow trees. We know that Lapwing and Skylarks continue to nest in the arable fields and bats have moved into the new farm buildings. Since establishing the garden around the Glamping site we have noticed a marked increase in the number of song birds that we see. We have met with a FWAG agent who has helped us to see new opportunities for improvements to wildlife habitats around the farm.
We are happy to tell you more about our ongoing efforts when you visit us.