Chris has kindly offered to speak to us on 10th June, 2.30 pm at his fabulous farm at Caistor St Edmund. High Ash Farm has been managed with biodiversity in mind for many years.
Chris will show us the various wildlife habitats and high pollen and nectar plantings he has created on the farm, as well as discussing the Natural England/Defra Higher Level Stewardship Scheme and how this has benefited the whole farm and greatly increased his profits. He is keen to show other farmers how creating large scale wildlife habitats can greatly increase a farm’s profitability – so anyone who has farmer friends who might be interested, encourage them to come!
We will park and gather in the car park of the Roman Town car park at Caistor St Edmund at 2.30pm. The walk will take approx 2 hours.
The Roman Town historic site car park is on the left-hand side of the road heading north from Stoke Holy Cross. Here is the webpage for the Roman/Iceni site including a map:
A little about High Ash Farm:
High Ash Farm has over 100 acres sown to both annual and perennial pollen and nectar mixes, in addition to many acres sown to overwintering bird mixes, miles of rides sown to specialist grasshopper mixes, woodland sown to special woodland wildflower mixes and many wildlife ponds. There are also many acres of arable crops such as barley. All arable fields have conservation field margins sown to annual and perennial wildflower mixes. Most of the farm is managed under the Natural England Higher Level Stewardship Scheme.
Chris has had many wildlife surveys done, one of which showed there to be between 50-60 million bumblebees on the farm!! Another recent survey last autumn showed several rare wasps are to be found – all are on the BAP (Biodiversity Action Plan) list of rare and endangered species. Rose has seen loads of mason bees nesting in holes made in the walls of the farm buildings.
In addition to huge amounts of butterflies and other pollinators there are many birds including skylarks, linnets, barn owls, turtle doves and 10 pairs of nesting little owls. There are also many mammals including roe deer and badgers. The farm has two heritage sites – the Roman/Iceni town of Venta Icenorum and a Saxon site.
Every Monday at 18:00 you can listen to Chris Skinner on Radio Norfolk. The show has been very successful and has won a Sony Radio Academy Award and even featured on Radio 4’s Pick of the Week and Pick of the Year.
If you are interested in joining us on this visit please meet us at the farm just before 2.30 on the 10th June. If you are able to share transport that would be great, please co-ordinate yourselves via the Sustainable Bungay Google Group.
See you there!