HOW WE FARM
Farms with Exceptional Wildlife
Farm Wilder only sources produce from farms that already have exceptional wildlife and are working to further increase
sustainability and biodiversity across the whole farm by transitioning to being 100% pasture-fed, and by adopting measures to help wildlife. We work with experts from RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, Butterfly Conservation, the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) and other charities to ensure that the farmers are creating just the right habitat for specific rare species including Marsh Fritillary Butterflies and Cuckoos, animals that struggle to survive elsewhere on intensively farmed land. And because conservation works best at scale we select farmers that are part of groups of farms all working together to help the same species.
Transitioning to Pasture-Fed Livestock
Our farms have committed to transitioning to being formally certified 100% pasture-fed within 3 years, freeing up precious land elsewhere from grain and soya production and ensuring that ruminants are grazed as nature intended, on herbs, grasses and legumes. Annual farm visits, conservation plans, and training events help farmers make this change, which benefits wildlife across every part of the farm as well as overall farm sustainability. During the transition period, on occasions where supplementary food is needed to take animals through the winter, farmers use a small amount of grain, generally from local farms.
With support from the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA), we work with the farmers to maintain and develop grazing systems that increase biodiversity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building up the amount of carbon that is stored in the soil. Wherever possible farmers don’t plough, instead managing pastures to increase the abundance of herbs and legumes such as bird’s foot trefoil and chicory, which help balance the animals’ diets while reducing methane emissions and the need for nitrogen fertiliser. Water then soaks into the soil better, reducing flooding and minimising pollution.
We also support farmers to expand the amount of tree cover on their farms, by increasing the size and number of hedges, by planting new copses into marginal corners and ideally by adopting silvopasture where trees are integrated into grazed areas. Each farmer has to plant 7 trees for every hectare of their farm. Combined with the diverse pastures, this creates a mosaic of habitats that provides the pollen, nectar, seeds and shelter necessary to support an abundance of birds, insects and mammals.
The film below explains the benefits of the PFLA's Pasture for Life certified meat and dairy, which Farm Wilder is helping its farmers to join.
Our Farm Standards and Conservation Plan is a document that sets out in detail how our farmers must work to benefit wildlife and to be more sustainable. It has been developed in partnership with the PFLA and wildlife conservation charities. Annual farm visits are carried out by FWAG South West, which allows us to see the progress that has been made, and to advise and support farmers in their transition to 100% pasture-fed. This is also a chance to assess wildlife habitats, and results in the creation of a Farm Conservation Plan for each farm. Click on the link below to read more.