Pasture Champions: David and Wilma Finlay The Ethical Dairy 2/5
Tell us about the biodiversity on your farm.
Increasing biodiversity on our farm has been a priority for us for the last 20 years, when we transitioned to organic and planted 35,000 mixed broadleaf trees. This transition saw the return of farming practices which benefit wildlife rather than threaten it. We can see, every day, the difference that prioritising biodiversity has made. Our planted hedgerows and well maintained dykes provide a haven for wildlife.
We no longer use pesticides or herbicides so wildflowers thrive in our pastures and offer safe refuge to countless bumblebees, dragonflies and butterflies, and our native woodland provides safe habitat for the endangered and iconic red squirrel.
Our farm is teeming with life and we have worked with environmental organisations to record and document the species that are found on our farm. So far 341 species have been recorded on our farm.
Recorded birds include Yellowhammer, Barn Owl, Tree Sparrow and Skylark; flora and fauna such as Common Spotted Orchid and Sun Spurge; mammals like Red Squirrels, Red Deer and Otter; butterflies like Northern Brown Argus and Wall; an abundance of insects, like the Blue Tailed Damselfly and Green Dock Beetle; reptiles including Adders and Common Lizards; Common Toads, Frogs and Newts make great use of our wildlife ponds and there’s a whole host of fungi, from Birch Polypore to the delicate Pale Brittlestem mushroom.
Following those species surveys two large areas of our farm were designated as Local Wildlife Sites. This is a nationally recognised designation for areas of land that are especially important for wildlife.