Regenerative Farming at Knepp
The Knepp Estate is embarking on a new regenerative farming venture, to help broaden the reach of nature into the West Sussex landscape whilst also producing food for a new farm shop and café, due to open in 2022.
The project will be taking place on farmland, principally around Shipley village, adjacent to Knepp’s rewilding project, which has, for the past 20 years, been traditionally grazed. It will be designed and managed in such a way as to create nature corridors, linking with the rewilding project and other wildlife habitats, demonstrating how rewilding and regenerative agriculture can work together.
A key focus will be on the improvement of soil health, using proven techniques that result in healthier crops, healthier animals, nutritious food and therefore healthier humans.
What is regenerative farming?
Regenerative Farming is a relatively new approach to farming that seeks to regenerate the land, soil and water, as well as enhance the wider environment and improve the nutrient density of food produced.
However, the approach is not specific as every farm is different, with its own set of unique circumstances, soil type and geography. Farming in a regenerative way is more about farming in a direction rather than to a specific definition, as outlined by these six core principles:
What will the Knepp farm project be regenerating?
How will the land be managed?
The Low Weald clay soils of West Sussex are naturally suited to grassland rather than arable (grain) production, so the farming project will focus on using grazing animals as tools to help manage this land, building soil health and soil carbon in the process.
We will be establishing a beef herd to rotationally graze the land in ‘mobs’, allowing the soil and plants to rest and regrow between grazings. This is known as ‘mob grazing’, a practice pioneered in North America, Australia and Africa, to mimic migrating herds of herbivores and now being adopted by some farmers in the UK. The mobs are moved on to fresh ground at frequent intervals with the help of permanent and temporary electric fencing, allowing the ground to recover behind them. On the Knepp project we will be trialling new GPS collar technology from Norway.
Who will be leading the project?
Find out more:
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