A MIXED organic farm near St Neots, where the woodland is managed by pigs and sheep and cattle may safely graze has been judged supreme champion at the East of England Show. Croxton Park Partnership which farms 700-acres has won one of five special enterp
A MIXED organic farm near St Neots, where the woodland is managed by pigs and sheep and cattle may safely graze has been judged supreme champion at the East of England Show.
Croxton Park Partnership which farms 700-acres has won one of five special enterprise awards at the show.
Cattle and sheep graze there, crops are grown for organic seed and also to feed the animals. The farm was judged best in the up-to-1,100-acres category, best overall and runner-up for countryside management.
The farm, which is certified by Organic Farmers & Growers, one of the accreditation bodies approved by the Government, is owned by Alan and Joy Bowkett and managed by Dan Bull, in charge of a team of four others.
"It was a nice surprise, and it all worked well for us," Mr Bull told The Hunts Post. "We have a holistic approach, and we feed the livestock with crops from the farm, as well as growing for seed. We use the pigs in the woodland and for cleaning up the fields.
"The big thing is that it was a team effort for the owners, who live on the estate, and all who work here. It wouldn't have happened if we weren't all going in the same direction."
Mr Bull said using pigs in woodland was a centuries-old husbandry method. "It's quite an art," he added. "They clear the rubbish, and it helps with the bird population on the estate and encourages new growth."
Formerly known as the Farms Competition, the awards were re-named the East of England Agricultural Farm Business Awards in this, their 30th year.
Kerry Buttriss, agricultural manager for the East of England Agricultural Society, said: "With social and environmental responsibilities of farming being increasingly important, the awards are looking for key figures that can embrace these challenges and maximise the opportunities that they are bring to their business.
"This year's awards have shown an outstanding level of excellence, and we were amazed by the entries this year - it certainly made judging hard work.