Great Glemham: Farmer wins top wildlife award

AN eco conscious farmer has been celebrating after scooping a top honour.

Jason Gathorne-Hardy, of White House Farm in Great Glemham, near Saxmundham, has been named the most wildlife friendly farmer in the east.

He received The RSPB Telegraph Nature of Farming Award yesterday.

He was recognised for encouraging biodiversity and sustainability, while also hosting school visits, food and art festivals.

Mr Gathorne-Hardy said: “Farming and working in the countryside is a shared business.

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“Reaching regional winner of this year’s RSPB Nature of Farming awards has been really exciting - but more than anything I would like to hold it up in thanks and tribute to all the friends, colleagues, family, conservation agencies and local businesses who have helped over the past few years.

“There is more ecology and biodiversity on the farm now - which is also supporting new enterprises and income streams. A ‘co-living’ approach to farming and land management is slow and seems to take time - but it seems to work.

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“New ideas often seem a bit half-baked - but I think ecological enrichment should be at the heart of any contemporary economic policy.”

Emily Field, RSPB agricultural projects officer, added: “There are so many great farmers out there who have taken the small and simple steps, like putting in skylark plots and wild bird seed mixtures, which makes a real difference to health of our countryside.

“Jason is a truly inspirational farmer. White Hall Farm is an impressive model of what it’s possible to achieve for wildlife on a large farm, and shows that conservation needn’t clash with profitability.

“Jason is driven by an enthusiasm and enjoyment of wildlife, and doesn’t see the large scale of his farming operations as an obstacle to his conservation goals. Biodiversity, landscape and sustainability are at the heart of his revolutionary farm.

“He continuously trials new ways of connecting people with landscape, including his network of nature trails taking in river banks, flower enriched grassland and woodland coppice. Jason really is a deserved winner of the Nature of Farming Award.”

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