Schoolchildren will be able to witness farming’s vital contribution to biodiversity in our countryside thanks to a new project at Adam Henson’s farm.
The environmental education initiative opened its gates at Mr Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park, near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, in the run-up to Open Farm Sunday.
The project, developed with sponsorship by Agrii and DLF Trifolium, showcases what British farmers are doing to protect, enhance and improve the environment.
Divided into five zones around a central wildlife pond, it takes visitors on a journey from open woodland through to conservation headlands to the heart of agricultural soil.
The project will feature at the heart of the farm park and build on the heritage of conservation and education first established by Mr Henson’s father in 1971 and continued to this day.
The new environment zone will provide insight into the history of the farm and surrounding area and will take visitors on a journey through the various ways that farming enhances the local environment and wildlife.
It will include a broad range of plants that are beneficial to insects and birds, an area of pollen- and nectar-rich plants, wild grasses, beetle banks and a pond.
Up to 100,000 visitors, including many local schoolchildren, will be able to see a beehive and learn about pollination, view a wormery in the soil zone, and learn about the integration of wildlife and food production in farming systems.
“This will do far more to change public perceptions than merely telling people we, too, like birds, bees, hedges and trees,” Mr Henson explained.
“We’re very much looking forward to the new area becoming an increasingly important addition to the farm experience we offer to people of all ages – and in so doing help mainstream farming get firmly on the front foot for its green credentials.”