Suffolk farm conservation award winner plays host to prestigious FWAG ceremony
PUBLISHED: 12:58 13 July 2018
© 2017 Tony Pick
Suffolk played host to a prestigious national farm conservation competition which brought together some of the most outstanding wildlife-friendly farmers in the country.
The 2018 FWAG Silver Lapwing Awards event took place at the farm of last year’s winner, Edward Flatt, of Eastwood Farm, Earth Lane, Lound, Lowestoft, and was co-hosted by him and by farm conservation body Suffolk FWAG.
This year, the coveted trophy went to Cumbrian Farmer Giles Mounsey-Heysham who was recognised for his outstanding efforts to promote good habitat and environmental management.
The award, now in its 41st year, was sponsored by retail chain Waitrose for the 10th year running. It recognises farmers who go the extra mile to protect and enhance the countryside in which they farm.
Giles was awarded from a national shortlist of seven farms, each selected for demonstrating outstanding commitment to good environmental practices while running successful farm businesses.
It was presented by head judge Charles Beaumont, fellow judge, Martin Hole, and Duncan Sinclair, agriculture manager for Waitrose.
Guests from all sectors of the British farming and agriculture industry attended the award presentation and lunch, which took place on June 21.
The presentation was followed by a tour of Edward’s farm, demonstrating why he scooped last year’s award.
The tour, which took guests on a circular route around a portion of the farm, was led by Suffolk FWAG conservation adviser Tim Schofield, who has worked closely with Edward, and Andrew Cooper, managing director at Walnes Seeds.
Winner Giles said: “I am very honoured to be presented with the Silver Lapwing Award, against such stiff competition. It is a testament to my team at Castletown Estate and this will motivate us to continue our conservation work on the farm. We will be proud to hold the Lapwing for the next year and feel privileged to be part of this award.”
Head judge Charles Beaumont said the competition was “very tough”, but added that the winner had overcome the challenges of grazing 2500 acres of salt marsh and transformed the farm into a wildlife haven as well as a “remarkable” business.