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South Penquite Farm

Controlling the bracken without sprays.

"...practical measures..."

Organic Farming

'The Bio diversity Benefits of Organic Farming', was the first comprehensive review of nine independent research studies comparing the levels of wildlife between organic and conventional farms

The studies found substantially higher levels of both abundance and diversity of species on organic farms, including birds, rare plants, spiders, butterflies, insects and other wildlife

The studies compared the levels of wildlife found on organic farms with those found on conventional farms. Much higher levels were found: five times as many wild plants, including a greater number of rare and declining arable plants; greater numbers of birds, such as breeding skylarks; about 1.5 times as many of the insects that make up bird food and at least three times as many non-pest butterflies in the crop edges. Some of the species found only on organic farms are targeted under the Government's national action plans on Bio diversity

"Organic farming could clearly be a major contributor to Bio diversity conservation in the UK if it were to be significantly expanded," said Chris Howe, Head of Future Landscapes, WWF-UK

Countryside Stewardship

A conservation fence overlooking th quarry.This is a Natural England scheme that targets the conservation and enhancement of some key English landscapes, features and habitats and, where appropriate improves public access to them.

On South Penquite we have joined the scheme with these and other specific measures.

  • Introducing cattle grazing onto 3 ha of steep scrub to improve the habitat for the important Pearl Bordered Fratillary butterfly
  • Managing over 7 ha of 'Moorland' with very light stocking rates to restore dwarf-shrub cover
  • Allowing educational access to the whole farm
  • Allowing public access to the bronze age settlement on the farm

Wildlife Enhancement Scheme

Another Natural England scheme through which we have created a 'river corridor' by fencing livestock away from our stretch of the river De Lank

The De Lank is of national importance as an outstanding example of an upland, acid river. For a river of its type it supports an exceptionally rich flora, with over 70 species recorded including 32 mosses and liverworts. Higher plants include the nationally scarce coral-necklace

The objectives of the scheme are

  • enhancement of semi-improved wet and marshy grassland adjacent to the De Lank river
  • improvement in the age structure of scrub to benefit a range of breeding birds and invertebrates
  • maintenance of the river corridor in a state where significant disturbance to otters and other wildlife of special interest, such as breeding and wintering birds is avoided
  • maintenance and enhancement of populations of other rare and nationally scarce plants and animals

Dominic & Cathy Fairman
South Penquite Farm, Blisland, Bodmin, Cornwall

Tel: 01208 850491