Elveden: Estate farm becomes latest LEAF demonstration farm
- Credit: Archant
Elveden Farms has become the latest farm to join Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF)’s prestigious nationwide network of LEAF Demonstration Farms.
It has joined more than 40 farms across the country set up to showcase the very best of sustainable farming practices through its LEAF status.
Elveden Farms, based on Guinness heir Lord Iveagh’s Elveden Estate near Thetford, is one of the largest single farm units in lowland Britain, extending to 9,100 hectares, specialising in the production of vegetables, including potatoes, onions, carrots and parsnips.
It also grows a variety of cereals including barley and wheat and is the largest producer of rye in the UK. The farm is LEAF Marque certified, which means it is independently audited to ensure it meets stringent sustainable farming standards.
The sustainable farming principles of Integrated Farm Management (IFM) underpin estate’s business approach, with 30% of the estate dedicated to conservation, hosting rare plants and a number of prominent bird species. Elveden is also home to a significant proportion of the UK’s stone curlew breeding pairs.
As a LEAF Demonstration Farm, Elveden will be a ‘living classroom’ – hosting visits to other farmers interested in farming sustainably. It will also welcome visits from a wide range of community groups, conservation organisations and local schools, so they can see for themselves how their food is produced and what farmers are doing to care for the environment.
Elveden’s senior farms manager Andrew Francis said: “We already have great links with the local community through our farm shop, open days and restaurant. It is a huge honour to be launched as a LEAF Demonstration Farm. Not only does it recognise all our work in combining commercial farming with environmental care, but it will mean that we can reach out to new audiences. More than simply telling people about our sustainable farming approach, they can see for themselves how it works in practice.”
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Caroline Drummond, chief executive of LEAF said: “LEAF’s Demonstration Farm Network plays a hugely vital role in sharing best practice amongst farmers as well as being a great way to help educate the public about the work that farmers do to care for the environment, whilst producing their food. Elveden Farms is a fantastic example of sustainable farming in action and represents what Integrated Farm Management is all about. We are delighted to welcome Elveden Farms as a LEAF Demonstration Farm and look forward to working together with them to engage and inspire other farmers as well as the wider public.”
The launch of Elveden Farms as a LEAF Demonstration Farm took place on Wednesday, October 16.
Attending the launch was the Earl of Iveagh, Stephen Fell, LEAF chairman, Andrew Nottage, East of England LEAF regional chairman and special guest, Galton Blackiston, Chef de Patron and Owner of Morston Hall, a Michelin star restaurant based nearby which Elveden supplies.