So here it is, the farm now finally has a website. And I have somewhere to document this fascinating and ever evolving journey towards both the conservation and diversification of these 150 acres in the heart of Buckinghamshire.
That journey started with my grandfather more than 60 years ago. And over the past few years I have been on a steep learning curve on how to continue the farm's heritage of environmental protection, and to balance the need for biodiversity to flourish, while welcoming people to the farm to experience all the benefits that nature provides and that are so needed right now.
More than anything I appreciate the value of working together and collaborating, whether it's with other local landowners or people living in the local community. A very exciting project with the Freshwater Habitats Trust has just been given the go-ahead to restore and create ponds and areas of wetland on the farm. This will help to create a more biodiverse landscape as well as new habitats for wildlife. As part of the North Bucks Freshwater Resilience Project it will also help with flood and water management at a time when we are all reminded of the scarcity of this natural resource. In the midst of this hot summer the farm is tinder-dry, so I look forward to when the ponds and streams are full of life.
I would like to express particular and heartfelt gratitude for the collaboration with Tamara Russell and Trudi Simpson who have been on this journey since the beginning of 2020 when they started living at the farm. We have been learning from each other and we have been learning from nature, striking a balance between planning for the future while allowing new opportunities to emerge.
Some of the planning is very long term. They say that the best time to plant a tree is today. Even then it may be that my two sons will be who receive its benefits, but their generation will need them most.
Thank you to everyone who has been part of the journey so far. Last year we came together at PitchShift for two wonderful weekends of new experiences and perspectives. This year we will gather on the first weekend of September, and I look forward to seeing old and new friends then.