Wye Valley AONB Farming Awards 2015


Back From left : Councillor Phil Cutter, Judge David Price NFU Wales,  Runner up Alan Morgan Gadr Farm, Monmouthshire, Nick Critchley AONB Development Officer, Highley Commended Helen and John Powell, Longley Farm, Gloucestershire
Front from left: Highly Commended Peter and Beryl Yeomans Whitiehill Farm Wonastow, Winning Farm Ann and Jim Herbert Lewstone Farm, Herefordshire, Judge Andrew Blake AONB Officer,

The Wye Valley AONB presented its hotly contested Farming Awards to Lewstone Farm at the Monmouthshire Show on August 27, 2015.

Lewstone Farm is a 240 acre farm based at Whitchurch, Herefordshire and is well known for producing free range eggs for both the supermarkets and local outlets. The farm has been recognised for high quality free range egg production, receiving the Egg Producer of the Year award from the British Free Range Egg Producers Association in 2013 and from an environmental perspective the farm has been in Higher Level Stewardship for the last 8 years.  The farm’s biodiversity has been increased by the introduction of a wildflower meadow and the planting of 300 trees. However, impressive though that is, it is the Herbert’s development of their educational facilities which won through against strong entries from farms in Herefordshire, Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire. Lewstone encourages school visits, primarily from south Herefordshire primary schools and have converted a barn into a fully equipped classroom. School parties from the wider areas of Ross on Wye, Monmouth and Stroud have also been accommodated. Currently Lewstone  averages 30 to 40 school visits per year where children learn about woodland streams, marshland and the working farm,

This year the quality of the entrants for the Wye Valley AONB Farming Awards have been very high, many with environmental and conservation programmes.
Runner up and previous winner Alan Morgan from Gadr Farm near Llangowan, Monmouthshire took the runner up prize for his outstanding contribution to conservation. Over the last 10 years Alan has planted and managed hedgerows and trees, created 16 ponds and four hectares of meadow which have increased his farm's biodiversity.
Two Highly Commended farms were selected. The first Whitehill Farm, Wonastow, Monmouthshire, run by Beryl and Peter Yeomans, also displayed their dedication to conservation management as part of Glastir Advanced and Glastir Woodland Management schemes with the planting of 7 acres of trees and 5.5 acres of meadow. Longley Farm, Stowe Green, St Briavels, Gloucestershire was the second  to be awarded with a Highly Commended certificate. John, Helen and Will Powell run this 550 acre farm under Entry Level Stewardship and are commended for their conservation workand management of an exceptional farm whilst under the threat of farm closure with the expansion of nearby Stowe Hill Quarry

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