The New Year brings a new look for farming and wildlife charity Norfolk FWAG. Previously known as Farm Conservation Limited, the organisation has changed its name from 1 January to come under the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group brand.
FWAG was first established as a charity in the 1960s by a group of forward-thinking farmers who saw that the environment was an important part of a successful farming business.
For more than four decades, Norfolk FWAG has provided trusted, independent environmental advice to the farming community, building a reputation for its ethical ethos and high standards of service. The organisation helps farmers to understand the environmental value of their land and make the most of the agri-environment options available.
In autumn 2011 the original national FWAG association went into receivership. Subsequently, a new national FWAG Association was launched in 2012. The organisation consisted of local groups representing 15 counties across England. Norfolk FWAG is one of the founding members of the Association.
The National FWAG Association is chaired by Norfolk farmer Joe Martin, who is also a Director and Trustee of Norfolk FWAG. He said: “I am delighted that our organisation can now legally revert back to its original name of Norfolk FWAG. The legacy which we inherit, of a charitable, independent, farmer-led and membership-based group to promote economic farming while enhancing our environment and biodiversity, is a cause that Norfolk FWAG will continue.
“The National Association of FWAG groups brings together the other FWAG groups from across the country, into an easily identifiable and significant force with a common purpose.”
Norfolk FWAG is chaired by Charles Sayer who farms at Sparham, north west of Norwich. Charles said: “The FWAG brand is synonymous with all that is the best in farming and wildlife, and we look forward to continuing to deliver more top quality schemes in the future, which will help integrate biodiversity into commercial farming systems.”
In the past 40 years the organisation has made an enormous difference to the wildlife and landscape of Norfolk. They have worked with many hundreds of farmers in every parish in the county, and have supported the Norfolk farming community through the ever-changing agri-environment picture from Environmentally Sensitive Areas, through Environmental Stewardship and are looking forward to getting the most out of the new Countryside Stewardship scheme.
The company is a not-for-profit organisation which gained charitable status in 2012. It is led by a board of directors and trustees with a voluntary steering group of farmers and statutory organisations, including Natural England, Norfolk County Council, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, The Norfolk Historic Environment Service and the RSPB. Membership benefits include a quarterly newsletter, bulletin updates on issues such as greening, and an invitation to two farm walks with unparalleled access to farmers and conservationists for advice and support. Enhanced membership, which includes a half day visit, is also available, as is supporter membership for non-farming members.