Farming with Nature award winners

The Amiss family on Tregullas Farm

Three years ago the Amiss family arrived at Tregullas, the most southerly farm on mainland Britain. Already they’ve made a huge difference – farming closely with nature to create a healthy, productive and wildlife-rich environment. As well as producing great meat, cereals, vegetables and eggs they’ve made space for rare birds and plants.

'Being perched on the very tip of the country brings both its delights and challenges,' says Rona. 'Every day we go to work in the most spectacular wild scenery, and every year we welcome rare and special birds – from Cornish choughs to meadow pipits.'
 
Choughs are breeding successfully, helped enormously by the way Rona and Nevil work their fields. When their cattle graze they leave shortened grass and rich soil – the perfect place for the choughs to find worms and leatherjacket larvae. By following a program of steady rotation, introducing more mixed crops and using grazing patterns they are steadily building a stable, productive soil that also supports wildlife.
 
Rona and Nevil Amiss farm 240 acres of small fields, separated by Cornish hedges. These ‘hedges’ are made up of stone banks, shrubby plants and wild flowers such as red campion and wild carrot. These delightful, criss-crossing hedges make perfect wildlife corridors through the patchwork of fields. Along streams they’re also planting ‘buffers’ of fenced-off blackthorn, hazel and other native plants to protect watercourses and create new habitats for voles and owls.
 
Nevil Amiss herding his Lleyn cross flock
Nevil Amiss herding his Lleyn cross flock

 
The soil is fertile here with the land exposed to storms and salty winds. Their sheep are a hardy cross-breed, with ewes living and lambing outside with minimal intervention. Rona and Nevil met at agricultural college, and now they share their knowledge with local people, schools and colleges – this year inviting teenagers to camp and make real connections with the environment.
 
Rona adds: 'Farming with nature is deeply rewarding, and so vital. We’re beginning to see a real difference, even in the relatively short time we have been here. I was raised in the country and wanted to farm from a young age. The more you see, the more you decide just how you want to work with the land and its precious wildlife.'
 
Tregullas farm produce are sold at the Amiss’ own farm shop and via email.
 
Contact details:
 
Rona and Nevil Amiss
sales@tregullasfarm.co.uk
01326 290122