Farming with nature brings rewards in Cornwall
The Amiss family only arrived on their 97 hectare (240 acre) farm three years ago. But already they’ve made a huge difference to the wildlife.
The family farms the land in harmony 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.
For example, when their cattle graze they leave shortened grass and rich soil. This is 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.
Delights and challenges
'Being perched on the very tip of the country brings both its delights and challenges,’ says Rona Amiss. ‘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.’
The many hedges on the farm make perfect wildlife corridors. And 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.
Rona adds: 'Farming with nature is deeply rewarding, and so vital.’