Part of the Ragley Estate in Warwickshire, Ragley Home Farms is a 3,500 acre arable and sheep LEAF Marque certified farm. Ragley Home Farms has established an Integrated Farm Management (IFM) approach to the whole business which balances profitable farming with environmental stewardship.
Farmer: Hamish Stewart
Address: Ragley Hall, Alcester, B49 5NJ
Located in the heart of Warwickshire, Ragley Home Farms is a 3,500 acre arable and sheep enterprise. The farm is an integral part of the 6,500 acre Ragley Estate, which is one of the principle tourist attractions in the Midlands. Integrated Farm Management strikes an acceptable balance between profitable farming and environmental stewardship. Sustainable farming is as much about generating a viable economic return, as it is about conservation and environmental protection.
Crops for food
Careful planning, accurate applications and appropriate selection of products and application equipment are all part of a fully integrated approach to farming. Crops are rotated to minimise the risk of disease and seed varieties are important to protect the crop. The farm optimises the use of essential inputs, only using what is needed. Soils are tested regularly to measure nutrient and soil health and crop cultivations are carried out across banks to reduce soil erosion risks.
Correct and planned feeding, appropriate housing and responsible use of medicines is essential to the Integrated Farm Management approach to livestock management. The Suffolk cross mule ewes are free to graze parkland for most of the year and are brought indoors during winter and for the lambing season. A livestock farm waste management and nutrient plan has been drawn up to mitigate and minimise the potential risks associated with livestock waste.
The protection and enhancement of environmental features found at Ragley Home Farms is essential for the success of Integrated Farm Management. A huge range of habitats are protected within the farm including habitats around the River Arrow, parklands, woodlands and ponds. Six metre margins have been established around all arable fields to provide suitable habitats to a variety of animals and insects. Hay is also spread on grass to promote the growth of native plant species within the farm.
As a LEAF Demonstration Farm, we want to share what happens on farm with the whole community. Visits take place throughout the year and are organised by contacting the LEAF Office.
Visit this farm
Click here to arrange a visit to this LEAF Demonstration Farm.