|Location:||Compton Martin, Somerset, UK|
Andrew and wife Jen, with the help of their two sons Kyle & Seth, have been stewarding Fernhill farm of Compton Martin since 2006. They are known in these parts for their incredible passion for holistically managing both livestock and land in deep harmony with the ancient Mendip grasslands on which they farm.
Following the conservation aims of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and the Higher Level Entry Scheme Andrew’s modus operandi is to preserve, protect and share his productive farmland. Home to a multitude of micro-organisms, many rare species are found on Andrew’s farm. Walking around his land, you very literally feel it blossoming with life as he holistically manages his orchard, woodlands, hedgerows, natural ponds and gardens to create beautiful, useful habitats for their livestock and the local wildlife.
Speaking of livestock, Andrew has been rearing a beautiful heard of suckler Black Angus cattle! They’re over-wintered at Fernhill after spending the long summer days conservation grazing the lush, green grass of Somerset Wildlife Trust’s old Roman Hill Fort, Dolebury Warren.
Incorporating Fernhill as the maternal safe base, the cows become efficient land management tools when travelling around the Mendip hills at various times of the year seeking fresh clean pastures. Andrew believes soil activity is an essential element for the health of our struggling planet. Thus, large mobs graze intensively for short periods of time to create a natural grazing system across the land.
Andrew exclusively uses nature’s natural responses first to treat weeds, diseases and ailments. He’s truly developing Fernhill farm into a self-sufficient unit with its own supply of home-grown resources – food from their fields & gardens, water harvesting & recycling, wood & wool to keep the Wear family warm with the sun & logs heating their water!