At Lower House Farm we strive to reduce our environmental impact through beneficial modern farming practices and choose to undertake many additional projects that benefit the wider environment. Every year we commit to maintaining kilometers of field margins and where possible add new ones. We have also planted over 2km of new hedges, and rejuvenating our stretch of the Hereford-Gloucester Canal - which has now become home to an abundance of wildlife, including a family of swans.
Agricultural buildings can be an ideal location for capturing clean energy. In ____ we installed our first Solar panel array, which was soon expanded to. Our entire solar array now creates more than produces over 60,000 kWh a year - which can also be feed back into the national grid.
Currently we are planning to further increase our solar array.
Water is an important resource and we have committed to reducing our dependence on extracting water by installing large collection tanks, which refill from rainwater, captured off a number of our agricultural buildings - around 500m2. We are able to store 40,000L of captured rain water for use on the farm
We were the first to open a conference centre in Herefordshire that is powered by solar panels and a Biomass Boiler using waste wood and cardboard from our farm.
The use of the biomass has reduced our reliance on oil from 100% to less than 10%.
Carbon mileage can also be off-set with the 70 acres of orchards that have been planted on the farm since 2009.
At Lower House Farm, the environment that we have and work within has always been important to us.
In 1999 we joined the Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS). This has enabled us to put in new hedges on the farm totalling 2200 metres, which has resulted in a very diverse landscape, with sightings of rare Corn Buntings, Yellow & Grey Wagtails.
These hedging plants are bought from a local nursery and are a mixture of hedging plants like Beech, Ash, Hornbeam, Dogwood, Quickthorn and Spindle.
In 2005 we joined the Entry Level Scheme (ELS). This allowed us to continue with other conservation projects on the farm.
In 2020 we started a new scheme of planting (2km) more of hedging plants to create wildlife corridors.
Grass strips are planted alongside sensitive areas including water courses and hedges totalling 6000 metres.
We have also put in special scrapes in the fields as we are planting the wheat, which provide a nesting place or landing place for birds such as Skylarks.
Part of the Hereford to Gloucester Canal
15 years ago we undertook a major project of cleaning approximately 1 kilometre of the Canal that runs through the farm. We reclaimed a stretch of the canal that had lain untouched for 150 years.
This has created a bird-friendly stretch of water that is now inhabited by ducks, tufted ducks, swans, geese, coots, moorhens and other wildlife.
In early 2019 we finished the last stretch of the canal to return it to the same standard as the newly restored section.