Scottish Mixed Upland Enterprise Recognised by LEAF for High Environmental Standards

LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) has today (19th September 2018) announced Bowhill Farming Ltd as a LEAF Demonstration Farm – its fourth in Scotland – in recognition of the farm’s high environmental standards and its commitment to sustainable farming.

Located in the Scottish Borders, Bowhill Farming Ltd is a 5,463-hectare mixed hill/upland enterprise and forms part of Buccleuch, one of lowland Scotland’s largest estates. The farm includes a herd of premium Aberdeen Angus cows, a suckler cow herd, a flock of Scottish Blackfaced breeding ewes and a large free-range poultry unit. Arable cropping includes winter barley, spring barley, spring oats and kale, mainly for stock feed.

Some examples of the many ways Bowhill Farming Ltd implements Integrated Farm Management (IFM) include: animal husbandry – the farm’s attention to detail is second to none and its careful monitoring of herd and stock health ensures optimum performance and conservation with all farming operations being carried out with sensitivity to the environment. The farm, for example, includes a large area of heather moor which is managed primarily for biodiversity, including black grouse leks.

The management team at Bowhill believe strongly in driving the connection with people and farming and the farm has a long tradition of welcoming visitors onto the estate and it offers open access for walkers. The farm is also an active member of Royal Highland Education Trust and hosts a number of visits throughout the year.

Welcoming the new LEAF Demonstration Farm, Alice Midmer, IFM Manager for LEAF, said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Bowhill Farming Ltd as LEAF’s fourth Demonstration Farm in Scotland. Bowhill is an excellent example of IFM in action within a thriving business, particularly in the area of lowland and upland livestock systems and demonstrates that environmental management can and does have a positive impact on all aspects of the farm. The farm offers a wealth of expertise and experience around sustainable farming and we are hugely excited about the opportunities this partnership will offer our members to improve the function, resilience and sustainability of farming systems.”

Farm Manager for Bowhill Farming Ltd, Sion Williams, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised by LEAF for our approach to sustainable farming and our consideration for the environment in which we operate. We pride ourselves on our animal husbandry and conservation credentials and believe passionately in the principles of IFM. Maintaining and improving the wealth of wildlife features across the farm and wider estate here at Bowhill has always been a key priority for us – as has engaging with the public and raising awareness of the benefits of sustainable farming. Being part of a UK wide network of Demonstration Farms offers an exciting platform to build on our commitment to knowledge generation and exchange around sustainable farming.”

Bowhill Farming Ltd joins a UK wide network of over 40 Demonstration Farms set up to communicate, discuss and demonstrate IFM best practice to other farmers as well as wider groups such as politicians, industry groups and students.

The official launch of Bowhill Farming Ltd as a LEAF Demonstration Farm took place on Wednesday 19th September and was attended by Amabel Scott, Buccleuch Estate, Ed Morris, Estate Manager and Caroline Drummond, LEAF Chief Executive.

Further information on Bowhill Farming Ltd and LEAF’s other Demonstration Farms can be found here Pre-arranged visits to LEAF Demonstration Farms are arranged through the LEAF head office.




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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.