At Wyke Farm we believe that farming and conservation go hand in hand. In 2000 we embarked on a journey to transform an intensive dairy farm into a sustainable business where food grows in harmony with nature. We have been restoring wildflower meadows, replanting hedgerows, creating woodland corridors, digging waterbodies and reintroducing native cattle and sheep. As a result, the farm is now a thriving, biodiverse environment. Over 128 species of wildflowers inhabit our meadows and we have logged 500 species of moth; 68 species of spider; 8 out of the 12 native bats; a wide range of birds; plenty of newts; and innumerable lichen, mosses and worts. Now we need your help. In order to document the site as it changes and grows, we welcome your contributions. If you spot something at Wyke Farm, you can register a sighting here and contribute to a growing catalogue of exciting flora and fauna.
INCREASING ORGANIC MATTER
Organic matter and a mycorrhizal biodiversity is vital for healthy and productive soils. Soil that has been regularly ploughed and used to grow crops, doused with chemical fertilizers are generally of poor quality. The worm count can be low and quite often the soil smells of a pair of well-worn socks! Soil that supports ruminant animals (cows and sheep) and is farmed extensively, without chemical inputs, tend to fare much better. A soil rich in organic matter not only smells a great deal better but the act of smelling it lifts the mood. Try it! If you lift a spade full of soil from a well-drained, regeneratively farmed field, you will see it drains better and is alive with worms, bugs and stuff, some of which you can’t see – like networks of fungi. This is where biology is at its best. The symbiotic effects of arthropods, roots, bacteria and fungi make for fertile, nutrient rich soil. Plants love it; and so does everything that relies on plants for food or shelter.