Courteenhall Estate has been shortlisted for the Farming Environment Award in this year’s Northamptonshire Food & Drinks Awards.
The Farming Environment category is sponsored by the Weetabix Growers Group and Courteenhall is one of six finalists.
The award is designed to recognise farmers who have supplied Weetabix within the last two years and who have taken demonstrable action to reduce the environmental impact of growing wheat through carbon footprint reduction, promoting wildlife or regenerative agriculture.
The award winner will be announced at the Royal & Derngate on November 1st at the 15th Weetabix Food & Drink Awards.
Peter Chandley, Head of Quality and Food Safety at Weetabix, said: “This award showcases the important work of our Growers Group of farmers and, as this year’s harvest comes to an end, it’s wonderful to celebrate local farmers doing so much for farming in a sustainable way.”
Courteenhall Farm was previously purely arable with a rotation of wheat and rapeseed but over the last decade it has been strategically changed to a wider rotation and is now being farmed in new and innovative ways.
Dr Johnny Wake is Managing Partner of Courteenhall and is on a mission to secure a sustainable future today and for generations to follow, and for the estate to be carbon neutral by 2030, if not sooner.
As an ex-doctor now working in agriculture, he is committed to building a bridge between farming, health and education.
Dr Wake said: “We’re delighted to have been selected as a finalist for the Farming Environment Award. We’re a family-run business and our team work hard to build a wide variety of diverse and sustainable practices across our farming activities.
“The farming industry has an important role to play in mitigating climate change with nature-based solutions such as more sustainable soil and water management, increased biodiversity and greater energy efficiency.
“We believe that farming alongside nature is crucial which is why we entered into the Higher Tier Countryside Stewardship agreement to protect and enhance our natural environment, increase biodiversity, improve habitats, water and air quality.
“Over the past few years, we have also been moving towards regenerative farming with a number of initiatives including working with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust to reintroduce Traditional Hereford cattle and Llanwenog sheep to our farms. They benefit the soil quality, carbon sequestration through grazing and muck and benefit biodiversity. We don’t use insecticides, minimise our use of nitrogen and avoid leaving bare soils.”
Last month Dr Wake won the prestigious Bledisloe Gold Medal for Landowners from the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) for his outstanding contribution to farming for food, people, the environment and profit.