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This walk will take place on 8 July at 9.30 am at Birkdale Farm, Terrington, North Yorkshire, courtesy of Mrs Frances Standen.

Interesting in learning how to bring beneficial insects into your farm to support pest control while avoiding pesticides?

Six farmers across the east of England have been investigating how farmers can better harness the power of flowers to fight pests, by attracting predatory insects; and attracting them where they are most needed. Participating in an Innovative Farmers field lab, these farmers -who operate both conventional and organic systems- hope to unlock more knowledge about how to attract and support the right insect populations by looking at the impact of flower establishment techniques, flower species mixes, and distribution of flowering features on farm.

This farm walk is a chance to hear from farmer Frances Standen and learn how she has been managing their tenanted farm without pesticides for the past 4 years.

Instead of using chemicals, Frances has leveraged the wide range of flowers and plants located in strips across their farm's 120 hectares, which are attracting a variety of insects (of these, 81 hectares are arable and the rest is a mix of grassland and Higher Level Stewardship options; they also have integrated livestock with 150 breeding NZ Romney ewes). These strips are a result of ten years spent in HLS agreements and further work Frances has done since they took over the tenancy five years ago. While to date it has mostly been managed based on anecdotal information, in his walk Frances will share how they are collecting the hard data required to best manage their strip fields effectively; and how she expects sharing her experience will encourage other to establish more flowering margins.

 Please note

- The farm walk may involve uneven ground, please wear appropriate outdoor gear/footwear and let us know if you have any specific access requirements in advance.

- Please do not attend if you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or are self-isolating. If you start to display symptoms of Coronavirus, or begin a period of self-isolation after you have booked your ticket – please email us at info@innovativefarmers.org to cancel your ticket.

Any queries? Please contact aallamand@soilassociation.org

 2022 marks the 10th year of Innovative Farmers. Part of the Duchy Future Farming programme, the network has been pioneering the model of farmer-led research in the UK. To celebrate this milestone and share the achievements of the 120 field labs launched to date, we are hosting a roadshow of events like this one across the country. 

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