Key Influencers, Schools and General Public
In addition to encouraging other farmers, a big part of the work undertaken at the farm has been the ‘outreach’ to local schools, the general public and key influencers to agriculture.
Rawcliffe Bridge and The Grange have been invaluable to communicate how intensive farming can also achieve great strides in encouraging biodiversity. BASF have had over 800 visitors to the farms during 2011 including:
- The Rt Hon James Paice MP, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food
- Representatives from food service companies and food retailers including major UK supermarkets
- UK Government Agencies and Charities including Defra, Natural England, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), The Voluntary Initiative (VI), The Game and Wildlife Conservancy Trust, and the National Farmers’ Union (NFU)
- As well as international visitors from France, Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Venezuela, Argentina and the Baltic States
The farms have also opened their farm gates to groups from local schools, local residents and to the media as well as to scientific institutes to show just how much can be done using normal farm equipment, sensitive farming practices and a passion to see the countryside buzzing with biodiversity. Managed right, Britain’s farms are a far cry from the sterile environs depicted by agriculture’s critics; you just have to come to one of these farms to see what’s possible.