About The Forage Field

Home About The Forage Field
by foragefield

In May this year, we bought the field that surrounds our garden on two sides and is the original parcel of land that went with our farmhouse. We have named it the forage field. The area is a little over 9 acres and, as far as we know, has always been used as pasture. Currently, it is planted with a commercial grass ley which we believe represents a monoculture that offers little in the way of habitat and is detrimental to wildlife.

We share our field management plan to diversify 9 acres of agricultural land using the principles of natural farming to encourage land recovery, habitat development and the use of native plants.
The Forage Field January 2021

There are strict laws here in the UK protecting agricultural land and its uses. We can’t, for example, use it as an extension of our garden. Keeping a few chickens is the closest we have ever come to being farmers, so being the custodians of land is a new experience for us. 

One thing we are convinced of is that farmland should serve many functions.

Firstly, we believe that agricultural land should be a living larder, able to feed us, livestock and wildlife in a sustainable way that doesn’t negatively impact the wider environment. We want our field to be a forage field that provides for both us and our wildlife. We believe that removing wild plants (aka weeds) from an environment they are adapted to and thrive in only to plant something that needs careful nurturing is counter-intuitive. Our wild plants and animals have evolved to live together in harmony. Surely, we should use this relationship as a starting point rather than trying to destroy it? We plan to showcase the multitude of uses our native vegetation offers to encourage people to value and utilise these fantastic plants.

Secondly, farmland should feed and protect the precious soil beneath it, sequestering carbon and preventing erosion.

And finally, agricultural land should provide shelter for both the animals and plants that make it their home. We hope that by managing the land sympathetically, new ecosystems will form, increasing the diversity of native species present and resulting in a more ecologically healthy field.

How we’d like the forage field to look

Sounds great in theory, but how do you turn a monoculture into a thriving, diverse habitat? We don’t see the forage field as a rewilding project; instead, we plan to gently manage the land using the principles of natural farming to restore its natural balance and diversity.

We are so excited to see how our natural farming approach to land management develops and will be sharing monthly updates here on our blog. We have produced an initial forage field management plan which lays out how we hope to achieve our aims. Please sign up for our monthly newsletter or follow us over on Facebook or Instagram if you want to follow our progress.

We’d also love to hear of any ideas or projects you are involved with that promote ecologically friendly land use or celebrate the diversity and utilisation of our incredible native flora and fauna.

A natural farming and foraging blog. A layman's experiment in natural farming to aid land recovery, habitat development and the use of native plants.

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