Kingfisher TV come to Sheepdrove

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Kingfisher TV view the Sheepdrove landscape

Tony Francis and his trusty cameraman from Kingfisher TV braved the cold weather this week to visit Sheepdrove Organic Farm. They are filming for a new series of the very successful programme, Tales from the Country. A thick white frost had transformed the dawn at Sheepdrove, which sits on the Lambourn Downs, within the North Wessex Downs Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty.

They took breakfast with Peter and Juliet, then went to take a look around the farm in Peter’s little G-Wiz electric car, which he charges up on green power from Ecotricity.  

Another big green project at Sheepdrove is the amazing reedbed system. Tony Francis discovered this ecological wonder with Jason Ball, our Manager for Biodiversity and Alternative Technology. Purification occurs as the water passes through each habitat. Read more.

From a distance, as they arrived, they could see a Grey Heron hunting the clean waters of the lake, and Moorhen grazing the bank. (No Kingfishers!) When they got closer the heron moved off, but then the Reed Buntings caught their eye. More than a dozen darted illusively among the reeds, their cryptic camouflage blending them into the tall, plumed reeds.

Chicks see and hear the outdoors ©JasonPBall

Tony then went down to the farm to see the animals, and met Jason Bryant who is in charge of poultry. Sheepdrove’s chickens live twice as long as most – 12 weeks. And we keep them in a way that’s the polar opposite of factory farming. Chicks spend their first few weeks in nurseries that have windows so they can see the outdoors and benefit from sunlight. Then they range free in specially-planted agroforestry fields, where trees and herb strips enrich the pasture to provide a place that’s full of wild food for the chickens. Wild birds do well here too, such as Corn Bunting, Little Owl, and Barn Owl.

Back at the Eco Conference Centre, manager Russell Downing gave them a tour of the beautiful building and its cleverly decorated interior. The centre is sustainably designed, with water saving features, great energy efficiency and lots of natural light.

 Look out for Sheepdrove on Tales From the Country, which will be showing on ITV from February.

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