Barker cousins scoop national accolade for quality farming conservation work

Brian and Patrick Barker

Brian and Patrick Barker

TWO conservation-minded farming cousins have scooped a national award for their work.

Patrick and Brian Barker, of Westhorpe, near Stowmarket have been crowned Countryside Environment Champion as part of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Countryside Challenge.They were voted for by readers of the NFU’s Countryside magazine.

The cousins who farm 625 hectares and seek to demonstrate that it is possible to combine farming profitability with conservation measures.

Their work has gained various awards, including the prestigious FWAG Silver Lapwing award fro farming and conservation in 2009.

Patrick and Brian said they were “absolutely delighted” to receive the award and to feel the work they are doing is appreciated by the wider public.

“We think it is important to keep progressing year-on-year,” they said.

Among the projects they have carried out is the restoration of three old newt breeding ponds and linking them with grass margins, installing solar panels and recycling rainwater.