Sheepdrove in Farmers Guardian

by

Farmers Guardian 23dec2008

Sheepdrove Organic Farm is featured as the centre spread in this week’s edition of Farmer’s Guardian (23 Dec). It’s on sale today!

Sustainability and innovative environmental projects are the main focus of the article, written by Ann Hardy, who interviewed farm manager Chris Blunt and manager for biodiversity and alternative energy, Jason Ball.

Here is a snippet of the article…
The story began when Peter and Juliet Kindersley embarked on their dream of self sufficiency by buying a farmhouse and a few acres near Lambourn in Berkshire, high on the North Wessex Downs. More than three decades later and after the sale of the publishing company Dorling Kindersley, they now preside over some 2,250 acres supporting beef, sheep, pig, poultry and arable enterprises alongside an eco-conference centre and butchers shops – each gradually becoming part of a ‘food centre’, open to scrutiny by the general public, rather than simply a farm.

“This means we want more people to see where their food has come from and to see responsible farming in action,” explains Jason. “It means things like seasonal, home-grown menus in our conference centre; recycling our water and waste; developing ‘wildlife corridors’ to connect different habitats; having an abattoir on site; supplying our own butcher’s shops and offering home delivery.”

But Sheepdrove has become much more than this. The name has become synonymous with environmental sensitivity; the farm is well on its way to energy self sufficiency; and the premises is fast becoming something of a shrine for those who follow the eco route.

The farm has been richly rewarded for its endeavours, this year’s recognition including the ‘Most Excellent Dedicated Venue’ in the Condé Nast Johansens Awards and the ‘Green Award’ for the contribution of its environmental policies to a greener events industry.

Other prizes have come in abundance, including for its produce (such as its lamb and mint burgers); its farming (it has been Best Mixed Farm in the Organic Awards and a finalist in the prestigious BBC Farmer of the Year Award); its livestock (champion sheep flock and best commercial beef unit, Newbury and District Agricultural Society); its shops (a finalist for the Butcher’s Shop of the Year) and above all, its environmental practices.

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