At Windmill Hill we take our environmental responsibility and public relations very seriously. The farm has also been at the forefront of research initiatives, often leading the way with pioneering trials. Examples of initiatives taking place include –
- ‘Integrated Pest Management’. On the farm we introduce beneficial predatory species into crops and carefully manage the climate under the Polytunnel to create the optimum environment for controlling pests. Overall, this allows us to significantly decrease or even remove agrochemical application and increase fruit quality.
- Polytunnel rainwater collection and recycling system provide water to irrigate the farm crops. We collect and store this in our lakes over winter, for use in the summer.
- Technology allows us to carefully monitor moisture levels in fruit beds. Using this live data, we make crop irrigation decisions and water in small amounts precisely via drippers. Therefore applying only the required amount of water to crops and ensuring no water is wasted.
- Our packhouse and freezer store, has Solar panels which supply renewable energy to the freezer, packhouse and even export to the grid. We generate enough energy to power almost 100 homes annually!
- We have a continual hedgerow and tree planting plan as well as numerous wildflower meadows all of which increase biodiversity. The farm also has over 100 bird nest boxes. Swans and other wildlife also enjoy sharing our irrigation lakes.
- Any waste fruit is sent to our local Anaerobic Digester (AD plant), which produces low cost, low carbon renewable energy.
We also ensure we give back to the community through –
- Annual Open Farm Sunday.
- Hosting organised groups such as schools and agricultural societies. In June 2016 the farm opened its gates to 60 members of the women’s institute who picked strawberries for charity jam making.
- Charitable donations, we support local events providing fruit for a wide range of fundraising activities.
- From July 2018 the farm became a LEAF Demonstration farm. Find out more about LEAF here