May: Farming on the Estate
Richard, farmer on the Attingham Estate
Richard has been a farmer for over 50 years. He is a tenant farmer on the Attingham Estate and by farming in nature friendly ways has helped to improve wildlife habitats and populations, and help nature thrive on his land.
Tell us about the farm.
I’m an arable and beef farmer – alongside my wife and my son. The farm on the Attingham Estate is 220 acres (89 hectares) in size and we also farm a mixture of tenanted and owned farms nearby.
I began farming on the Attingham Estate in 1984, and my father was a farmer before me. We’ve recently introduced pedigree Hereford cattle on the farm.
This is a breed that was historically grazed on the Attingham estate, by the fifth Lord Berwick (1800-1861).
" What’s the best part about being a farmer? I enjoy being in the countryside and looking after the soil for further generations"
How are you helping nature to thrive on the farm?
We’re passionate about ensuring that we manage the land in a way that is productive for farming and benefits nature. This includes doing things like creating habitats and wildlife corridors by maintaining the quality and health of hedgerows, leaving flower rich margins between hedgerows and crops, and encouraging and welcoming wildlife such as ducks, and breeding toads at our reservoir.
We’ve returned areas that were previously used for arable farming to grass land and pasture – balancing the use of the land for farming and nature to thrive, alongside each other. Creating these areas of grassland creates species rich hay meadows with habitats for birds, pollinators and invertebrates. The wild orchids that grow on the land and the increase in grey partridge on the farm tell us we’re on the right track!