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Farm Environment

Farmer Gow's is established on Henleaze Farm, in the parish of Longcot, just outside the market town of Faringdon.

 

Soil

The farm lies on heavy clay – which lies wet in winter.

 

Landscape

The farm lies in the outstandingly beautiful Vale of White Horse – and looks across the Vale to the actual White Horse at Uffington.


Background

At the time purchase - in August 2007 - Henleaze Farm was a mixed arable/livestock farm. 

 

Farmer Gow's Environmental Interests

Farmer Gow’s has extensive experience of environmental works and is keen to develop the bio-diversity of Henleaze Farm ~

Hedge Laying

Farmer Gow’s (formerly Gow & Nicholson) ran the Oxfordshire Hedge Laying Championship from 1993-2002, hosting the National Hedge Laying Championship in 2000

The hedges at Henleaze Farm have been mechanically managed for many years.  They are now being managed, still by machinery, but at a more environmentally sensitive time of year to

  • maximise their fruit bearing capacity for wild birds
  • to increase their density, depth and height – thereby creating better nesting habitat for ground and hedge nesting bird species
  • to provide better wind protection for farm livestock

Coppicing

Farmer Gow’s undertook a Coppice Restoration Project in Appleton Common in the mid-1990s for which it was presented with an award by the Oxford Presentation Trust.

Sections of old gappy hedge at Henleaze Farm have now been coppiced and 'gapped up' to create continuous length hedgerows

Woodland

Henleaze Farm lies within the Great Western Community Forest and in an area deficient of woodland.  With the assistance of the Forestry Commission a new woodland was planted during 2008-10.

The new woodland 'Hengrove Wood' includes an area of ash and hazel coppice, woodland shrubby species and woodland pastureland.

Wild Birds

Farmer Gow's has a wild bird feeding prorgamme, which has significantly increased the farm's resident and feeding populations.  See Wildlife for more information

Barn Owls ~ Farmer Gow’s undertook a Barn Owl box project on it’s previous site at Appleton, with the support of DEFRA’s Environmentally Sensitive Area scheme.  Three new boxes have been erected on Henleaze Farm.  Barn Owls live permanently on the farm.
 

Awards

Farmer Gow’s (formerly Gow & Nicholson) was presented with a number of awards for it’s environmental and public access works.

Council for the Protection of Rural England ~ CPRE Mark presented to Farmer Gow’s for the ‘promotion of hedgelaying skills and other traditional rural crafts ~ 14 July 2001.  This was the first Mark to be awarded in Oxfordshire.

Oxfordshire Preservation Trust ~ Award for the contribution made 'To the preservation and enhancement of Oxford's heritage by the coppice restoration and charcoal production in Appleton Common Woodlands'.

NFU ~ 2003 Small Business of the Year ~ Runner-up

 

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