Charrington Fruit Farms has been awarded the Emsden Trophy for 2015 by the Kent Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group for our contribution to conservation in Kent.
Our farm is in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty near Matfield in Kent. We’ve always been dedicated to growing the best quality apples, while at the same time managing, protecting and enhancing the environment in which they are grown. It’s all part of our whole farm plan for Integrated Farm Management (IFM).
IFM is a key feature of Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF) Marque, a sustainable farm management benchmark that integrates the environment, farm economic viability and the needs of society.
All over the farm we maintain wildlife habitats around natural features such as hedgerows and the reservoir. We also try to engage and educate visitors to the farm by keeping footpaths accessible and posting information boards and maps. Generally we try to make the farm a nice place for us to live and work, you to visit and wildlife to thrive.
We’ve worked with Paul Cobb of FWAG to develop a whole farm conservation plan for us to follow. He says, ‘Alex Charrington’s approach to growing shows that even in a small area with the right attitude there is plenty of scope. Field margins are being managed as refuges for pollinators and beneficial insects and the reservoir is a wildlife haven.’
When receiving the award at the Kent Show Alex commented, “We’re really pleased to be awarded the Emsden trophy for our contribution to conservation in Kent. My family has been farming here for over half a century and our whole farm plan has really helped us to communicate and enhance our farm environment for all species – humans, birds, insects alike. The things we’ve done, with Paul’s guidance, are easily achievable regardless of scale and the benefits are both immediate and long term.”