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Beeston Hall Farm Walk Recap 5/5/24

On Wednesday 5th June, Norfolk FWAG were fortunate enough to host their latest summer farm walk at Hildebrand Farm in Beeston St. Lawrence. We were joined by over 40 passionate farmers and wildlife lovers as we heard from various interesting speakers about how this farm had embraced and implemented conservation measures and environmental enhancements.

On The Day

Firstly, as we started our walk, we were met with an introduction from Marta Gibbons, Norfolk FWAG Farm Environment Adviser, about the estate and owner, William Dorsey. This included providing a fascinating insight into the history of the farm.

Following a brief walk through parkland, the first stop was held at a thick-trunked sweet chestnut where Marta explained more about the estate’s current schemes and future plans. Henry Walker, Norfolk FWAG Farm Environment Adviser, highlighted the beauty of the ancient trees and the importance of leaving them in farmland. 

Moving down to the lake, Henry discussed the fen edge which has formed and explained management techniques, picking out some of the species on the strip of fen. The walk then continued through into one of the estate’s woodlands, where Iestyn Griffith, Arboriculture and Woodland Officer of the Forestry Commission, stopped us to talk about woodland management and opportunities for landowners with pest and disease control. 

Going through the woods and into the next field we paused next to an AB8 plot to listen to Nathan Walker, Farm Environment Adviser and Team Manager at Norfolk FWAG, speaking about the changes to Sustainable Farming Incentive and Countryside Stewardship. This prompted much discussion on scheme updates and viability.

Moving onto the ponds, Henry Walker shared the importance and execution of pond management and available funding to support this, as well as an overview of the support available from Norfolk FWAG through District Level Licensing.

The final speaker was Stuart Maggs from Howes Percival, our farm walk sponsor, who provided us with some advice on succession and how to manage this with upcoming governmental changes. Finally, we walked around the gorgeous Beeston Hall and tucked into some venison burgers; the venison was locally sourced from wild red deer on the estate and was cooked by Bluebell Woods.

Join Us on The Next Norfolk FWAG Farm Walk 

At Norfolk FWAG, we host plenty of farm walks throughout the year. If you’re a Norfolk farmer or wildlife lover, then join us on our next farm walk! Tickets are free for members of Norfolk FWAG, and non-members are also welcome to join for a small ticket fee. 

Visit our Events page to see when the next farm walk will be taking place and on what piece of land.