We are delighted to announce that the 2020 Soil Farmer of the Year farm walks WILL be going ahead!

Organised with the Farm Carbon Toolkit  the two farm walks will showcase award winning soil management. 

The first event will take place on 2020 SFOTY winner Jake Freestone's farm at Overbury Farms on Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 10:30 to 12:30

Jake farms over 2000ha at Overbury estate in Gloucestershire across a range of soil types. Included in the estate are 950 ha of combinable crops, and a flock of 1100 ewes. Jake has been working on soil management since 2015 when he changed his cultivation and has been predominantly no till since then. Jake is using cover crops and grass leys to protect soil and minimise erosion and has changed the rotation to incorporate his sheep onto his arable ground to build fertility. He is using companion cropping and is starting to experiment with biological additions to further stimulate his soil life. He is currently working on reducing Nitrogen use and moving the sheep grazing to a paddock grazing system.

To book onto the SFOTY farm walk at Overbury Farms please click here

Due to COVID restrictions, places will be strictly limited and there will be social distancing and hygiene measures in place. After the event, there will be a wide range of resources from the walk hosted on the Farm Carbon Toolkit website for those unable to join in person.

Due to the changing situation regarding COVID, the final decision on the event going ahead will be taken 7 days before. If the face to face meeting has to be cancelled, the event will take place online instead.

The second farm walk will take place virtually with Alex Brewster who was this years Livestock SFOTY winner. The online event will take place on Tuesday 20th October 2020 between 13:30 – 15:00 BST. 

Alex farms 1000ha at Rotmell Farm in Perthshire, which is comprised of 130ha of improved pasture and hill ground. Alex has always been interested in farming with the environment but started experimenting with rotational grazing in 2013. The grazing has now morphed into a mob grazing system which has brought about improvements in the soil structure and rooting depth of plants, nutrient availability, pasture utilisation, stock health and growth rates, and the length of time that the stock are able to graze. Alex is seeing his soils adapt and change, and is now focussed on building more resilience into his system.

The farm walk will be run virtually via Zoom and attendees will get a chance to understand more about the farming system at Rotmell and the transition to a regenerative approach.

There will also be a chance to hear about a new project evaluating the potential for rock dust to improve soil carbon sequestration levels on-farm.

Proposed agenda

1.30 Welcome and introductions

1.40 An introduction to the farm, the landscape, soils and management

2.00 The use of rock dust for carbon sequestration and improved soil health.

2.20 Outputs – how the transition and focus on soil health is delivering improvements on-farm.

2.40 – Questions and discussions

3.00 - End

To book onto the virtual farm walk with Alex Brewster please click here.

For more information or any queries please contact Becky Willson on becky.willson@farmcarbontoolkit.org.uk