Farmer Gow's arrived at Henleaze Farm, Longcot near Faringdon on 1 January 2008
Heavy clay which lies wet in winter
The farm lies in the outstandingly beautiful Vale of White Horse. The actual White Horse, a chalk mounumer on Uffington Hill, can be seen clearly from various points on the farm.
At the time of purchase (Aug 07) Henleaze Farm was a mixed arable/livestock farm
Farmer Gow's (formerly Gow & Nicholson) ran the Oxfordshire Hedge Laying Championship from 1993-2002, hosting the National Championship in 2000.
Over the last 16 years, the farm's hedgerows have been managed very senstively to enable them to flourish for wildlife. They are now thicker, taller, denser and consequently offer more to wildlife ~
- more fruit for wildbirds, particularly in the autumn and winter
- better and safer nesting habitat
- greater protection from the wind - 1m hedge height = 7m paddock protection
Farmer Gow’s undertook a Coppice Restoration Project in Appleton Common in the mid-1990s for which it was awarded Oxfordshire first 'Mark' by the Oxford Presentation Trust.
On Henleaze Farm, sections of old, gappy hedgerow have been coppiced and 'gapped up' to create continuous length hedgerows.
Henleaze Farm lies within the Great Western Community Forest, in an area deficient of woodland.
With the assistance of a Forestry Commission grant a new woodland was planted winters 2008-10.
The new woodland 'Henleaze Wood' includes an area of ash and hazel coppice, woodland shrubby species and woodland pastureland.
Farmer Gow's has an all-year wild bird feeding prorgamme, which has significantly increased the farm's resident and feeding populations. See Wildlife for more information.
Barn Owl project
Two barn owl boxes have been erected on Henleaze Farm. Barn Owls live on the farm and breed most years
Council for the Protection of Rural England - CPRE
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 Presentation Trust - OPT
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'.
National Farmers Union - NFU
2003 Small Business of the Year ~ Runner-up