Promoting a regenerative farming future with sustainable food systems is the ethos that drives every aspect of what we do at FarmED, from farm management to the food we serve, so we’re delighted for this to have been recognised with a gold badge from Green Tourism, the highest of their awards.
As an organisation, Green Tourism promotes greener ways for businesses and organisations to operate, through reducing energy use, saving water, efficient & eco-friendly waste disposal, ethical buying, staying local & seasonal, minimising food miles and promoting biodiversity.
We always aim to operate FarmED 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, aiming to capture carbon in soil and above ground biomass. Our ultimate goal is to help reverse global trends of atmospheric accumulation of greenhouse gases and climate change.
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 that traceability is key and aim to support local, artisanal, organic and pasture-fed producers.
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 have 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. 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.
Environment and wildlife
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 encourage as much wildlife and biodiversity as possible and 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 believe a regenerative approach goes beyond farm conservation and environmental sustainability,’ says Manager, Jonty Brunyee. ‘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. Becoming a Green Tourism member takes our sustainability commitment to the next level and we hope to continually improve our efforts over the coming months and years.’