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Nature-friendly farming

Wild flowers at the nature-friendly Wimpole Home Farm, Cambridgeshire
Wild flowers thriving in a wild field margin | © National Trust/Phil Morley

Discover how farmers are making more space for nature using innovative, low-carbon farming methods on our land.

Working with farmers to support nature

Around 80 per cent of our land is farmed in some way, either by tenant farmers, commoners with grazing rights, those with annual grazing licences or our own staff teams. Farmers play a vital role in helping nature thrive in the countryside, while running sustainable businesses producing good food.

Many farmers are already playing their part, from creating field margins and planting hedgerows, to restoring traditional hay meadows and using livestock for conservation grazing. Below, you'll discover how some of them are helping nature to return.

Nature-friendly farming in action

Low Sizergh Barn

Low Sizergh Barn, Cumbria

Organic farming, energy efficiency, selling local produce and community outreach work are key to the success of Low Sizergh Barn farm in Cumbria.

The 140-hectare farm, managed by Richard and Anna Park, brings together holistic principles with an organic farming system. This means it focuses on doing what’s best for the land, the environment, the community, and the business.

Unproductive areas of land have been fenced off to let biodiversity flourish since the 1980s. But in recent years trees have been planted and hedgerows managed in ways to support wildlife. The farm is now known for its healthy soils and diverse flora and fauna, as well as its 170 crossbred cows (holstein, Scandinavian red and montbeliarde), which produce 7,000 litres of milk a year.

Low Sizergh Barn farm is also popular for its shop and café, which attract more than 100,000 visitors every year and employ around 50 people. It offers a large variety of products from Cumbria and its neighbouring counties, keeping supply chains short and more environmentally friendly. The farm also saves energy and reduces its carbon footprint in other ways. These include the installation of a new milk tank with a heat recovery system, variable-speed vacuum pumps and LED lighting.

The Parks’ holistic approach to farming also extends into the local community. For almost two decades the farm has been the headquarters of Growing Well – a charity that helps people recover from mental illness through gardening and other outdoor activities.

Two white sheep graze among long grass on a hill overlooking a misty green valley

Our views on land and farming

Learn about our ambitions for the land in our care and how we're working with farmers and common rights holders to support nature-friendly, low-carbon farming.

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