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Video Diary: Farmer Jess Brooks on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

The Brooks Family joined the pilot to help us improve the Sustainable Farming Incentive.

For over a century, the family has worked on South Thorness Farm, which is found on the north-west coast of the Isle of Wight, within the Hamstead Heritage Coast Area Of Natural Beauty.

Listen to how sisters Jess and Sarah, along with their parents Adrian and Joyce, run through the management of theifarm and their decision to join the pilot. As you’ll see, they’re passionate about the role small grassland farms can play in the future of our countryside. They intend to protect and enhance their farm’s exceptionally diverse wildlife.

Over the past few months, we’ve been learning from the experience of farmers in the pilot. Keep an eye out for Future Farming blog posts where we’ll continue to update you on what we’ve learned and what we’re doing about it.

Thanks to the Brooks Family for taking part.

Read the transcript

Please note: The guidance for the Sustainable Farming Incentive is different from the guidance for the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot. 

Read the Sustainable Farming Incentive guidance. 

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  1. Comment by Christopher Stopes posted on

    Lovely SFI video, thanks South Thorness, Jess and all. What would enable you to be certified as an organic farm? It seems to me that you would be able to, easily.

  2. Comment by Micheal Summers posted on

    An idyllic situation, but whether it represents a very good example of a commercial holding seeking to sustain financial viability as a result of reducing BPS, I’m not so sure.. Also, in what way is it a mixed farm? It appeared to be a block of grassland only.

    • Replies to Micheal Summers>

      Comment by Jess Brooks posted on

      You're right Michael, I'm not sure why we have been described as a mixed farm, or farmers! It's grassland only, hay sold as standing and aftermath grazing by a grazier as described in the video. There are a LOT of other land managers on small holdings in the UK like us who need to manage parcels of land sustainably and maximise benefit for wildlife, whilst producing useful goods like hay and foraging for graziers or running small enterprises. So we are taking part to help the SFI recognise and cater for all the 'small fry' out there. The video speaks for itself, but Defra interpretations may vary..!

      • Replies to Jess Brooks>

        Comment by The Team posted on

        Hi Jess,

        Sorry about that - we've amended the text! Thanks again for taking part in the video and the SFI Pilot.

        Best wishes,
        The Team

  3. Comment by Tam Mayor posted on

    This is really interesting. Thanks for sharing your work. It would be good to learn more about how you will be tweaking your grazing regimes in order to improve pasture health and biodiversity.


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