Growing Great Environments - Biodiversity

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My name is Andrzej Zygora. I am currently the Farm Manager at Tuesley Farm close to Godalming in Surrey.

I'm originally from a village in southern Poland and although my parents didn't farm, I spent a lot of time whilst I was growing up on small farms owned by friends and family. more..


We are fully aware of our role as stewards of the countryside for this and future generations. We aim to leave as light a footprint on our farms as is possible.

We are lucky as our farming allows the blending of environments in small 10 acre work areas which can support a wide biodiversity of flora and fauna. Wild flowers and plant species that are commonly regarded as weed species within broad acre arable systems are welcomed in soft fruit production as they form the habitats that support the predatory species that we use to reduce pest problems in our crops.

We actively employ every method that we can to increase the variety of habitats that exist on the farms through the planting of native hedges, the creation of beetle banks and the enrichment of the wooded environments that we manage.

We pride ourselves in leading the industry in experiments to discover other, more natural ways of enabling sustainable soft fruit production on our farms, working with industry and academics from across the UK. As an example, we have been partners, alongside EMR in the development of natural biofumigants for the removal of diseases from the soil.

We're also very keen to involve and inform the next generation of the importance of conservation farming and taking care of our environment. We regularly invite local schools to visit us and hear about the conservation work we're doing.

The majority of our fruit is protected by polytunnels for at least part of their growing season. We use tunnels in order to provide them with the ideal growing environment and to protect the crop from rain damage. This enables us to reduce the amount of pesticides that we have to use by 60% which is in line with our environmental objectives.

Polytunnels have also helped with encouraging the widespread use of natural enemies for pest control. This is where a particular pest insect is targeted with another insect which is one of its natural predators. This entirely natural method of pest control is helped by the warm environment and enclosed space of provided. The limitation of our fields to no more than 10 acres enables the natural predators living in the surrounding beetle banks to reach the centre of the crops whilst still remaining within their natural territory.

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