One of our ambitions for the Estate is to improve the environmental stewardship of the land to secure widespread environmental benefits.
We are entering Gawdy Hall into a Countryside Stewardship Scheme with an emphasis on flora, fauna and wild birds. One of our initiatives is to give supplemental food to the Estate’s Turtle Doves, increasingly rare in the UK, and other wild farmland birds. At Gawdy Hall, we have an impressive wildlife base which has substantial potential to respond to the improvement efforts that are being undertaken.
Our arable land will soon be included in the Sustainable Farming and covers crops grown over the winter months which are managed via grazing by sheep. In 2023 we welcomed 50 Llanwenog sheep to the Estate and these hardy Rare Breeds will soon be joined by another 300. We've also introduced 27 Norfolk Horn Shearling ewes, an amber listed rare breed, and a pedigree ram.
In addition, Gawdy Hall is a keen member of the Waveney Valley Cluster Farm, a cluster of farmers who have formed a group to achieve biodiversity gains on a landscape scale. The group has 39 farms and covers over 10,000 hectares. It has a particular focus on water quality and habitat connectivity.
Like everything we do across our land, our farming practices are conservation-minded and regenerative with an emphasis on improving soil health, sequestering carbon and promoting biodiversity.