FarmED Green Statement
FarmED is located on Honeydale Farm in the heart of the Cotswolds. Our mission is to accelerate the transition towards regenerative agriculture and sustainable food systems. We aim to be at the heart of local, regional and global agroecological transition. Our mission is to provide learning spaces and events that inspire, educate and connect people to build sustainable farming and food systems that nourish people and regenerate the planet. This mission drives everything we do - we always aim to operate our business in a way which minimises negative impacts, conserves resources and enhances natural capital for future generations. We practice what we preach….and it begins with the soil.
Promoting a Regenerative Farming Future
Regenerative agriculture is based on principles and practices that increase biodiversity, build better soils, improve water catchment and enhance nutrient cycling. Regenerative farmers work with nature drawing from agroecological, organic and holistic management methods, aiming to capture carbon in soil and aboveground biomass. Our ultimate goal is to help reverse global trends of atmospheric accumulation of greenhouse gases and climate change. Success can also bring increased yields, lower input costs, resilience to climate instability and healthier livestock.
Here at FarmED we believe a regenerative approach goes beyond farm conservation and environmental sustainability. Those on a true regenerative journey also seek to rebuild functional landscapes, foster thriving farming and growing communities, cultivate local food systems that benefit all, and generate rural enterprise. A regenerative system is diverse and circular.
Agroecology at FarmED
Agroecology is a holistic and integrated approach that simultaneously applies ecological and social concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable agriculture and food systems. It seeks to optimize the interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment while also addressing the need for socially equitable food systems within which people can exercise choice over what they eat and how and where it is produced. Agroecology is at the heart of the FarmED ethos.
From initial design to the final build, sustainability has played a significant part in the development of the FarmED buildings. The internal and external cladding was obtained from FSC Certified sources, all buildings are fully insulated with English sheep's wool and heated only when necessary via an air source heat pump which powers the underfloor heating. The unique building design maximizes solar gain and heat retention in winter and reduces heat gain throughout the summer, minimising the need for extra heating or air conditioning.
We attempt to use as little electricity as possible and monitor our monthly usage to stay on track. All indoor & outdoor lights are LED, and lights in the toilets and boot-room are on a sensor to prevent unnecessary wastage. Both buildings have 20m2 skylights and full length windows running down each side allowing maximum natural light to enter, reducing the need to have the lights on during the day. There is a mains power switch at the exit of both buildings, which turns off all non-essential items overnight.
We have recently installed 52 photovoltaic panels on the barn roof, producing 14kWh which is divided between the buildings. On sunny days, we produce enough electricity from solar to run the buildings without the need for additional electricity from the grid. We have installed an electric car charging point powered by our own solar energy.
Water usage is minimised through dual flush toilets and low capacity flushing cisterns. Rainwater is collected from the roof of the barn and stored in a 6500L tank for irrigation and farm washdown purposes. Greywater from the site is collected in a system of sediment tanks and filtered into an attenuation pond, creating a wildlife habitat and a source of usable water.
Waste and recycling
We strive to produce minimal waste and recycle and compost as much as possible. We do not use any single-use plastics (soaps in the toilets are soap bars) and the kitchen water taps are filtered so we provide water jugs and glasses rather than bottled water. Hand towels are used in the toilets instead of single use paper towels and washed using eco friendly detergents. Internal printing is only done when necessary and always double sided.
Where possible, we encourage people to lift-share or use public transport if coming from further afield. Our local railway stations are just a 10 minute drive away and only a little over an hour on the train from London. We are always happy to pick visitors up and return them to the station. There is plenty of room on-site to securely store bikes for cyclists, and we have recently installed an electric vehicle charging point in the car park. We arrange online meetings to avoid traveling to face to face gatherings, and avoid flying whenever we can.
We only use environmentally friendly cleaning products in our meeting spaces, toilets, office and kitchen areas. Ecover or equivalent products are used along with 100% recycled toilet paper.
Food is a huge part of FarmED’s mission and offering. As such, we run our catering operations by shopping locally, eating seasonally and sourcing responsibly, ensuring waste is kept to a minimum. Fruit, vegetables, honey and grains produced on Honeydale Farm are used wherever possible in our kitchen, utilising produce gluts where we can. We look for suppliers who meet our strict supplier code and share our regenerative ethos to fill in the gaps. We believe traceability is key and aim to support local, artisanal, organic and pasture-fed producers.
FarmED is primarily a community focused venture and we are excited to welcome those from the surrounding area. We offer community focused events including farm walks, pop-up food days and Open Farm Sunday. We offer free or discounted venue hire rates to charity organisations and educational establishments. The FarmED Bursary is used to help members of our community who have barriers to access.
Environment and wildlife
Our home is Honeydale Farm within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the beautiful Evenlode Valley. These 107 acres are rich in wildlife and heritage.
At FarmED we work with the farm team to encourage as much wildlife and biodiversity as possible. We are constantly implementing new ways of doing this - planting trees, maintaining wildflower meadows and field margins, and creating wetland habitat. We are currently restoring field boundaries under a 5 year Countryside Stewardship Scheme and have installed bird boxes in the roof voids of each building. Since 2014 we have planted around 10,000 native trees and shrubs across the farm, and a large heritage orchard, working with volunteers from the Wychwood Project and funding from the Woodland Trust. We leave deadwood in-situ where we can.
The farm is managed in a regenerative way using diverse rotations, holistic grazing techniques and low inputs of fertilizer. We do not use herbicides.
We are using the Farm Carbon Toolkit to measure the farms carbon footprint. We are currently looking at ways to offset FarmED’s footprint on the home farm.
In 2020 we became a Green Tourism member to take our sustainability commitment to the next level and hope to continually improve our efforts over the coming months and years.
Designated Lead For Sustainability
Name: Sophie Wilkinson
Job role: FarmED Events & Office Coordinator
Mobile: 07539 451363
This policy statement came into force on: 11/6/2019
This policy statement and accompanying procedures were last reviewed on: 11/6/2020