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Video: Trogues Farm


Michael Orchard, Trogues Farm, Derbyshire

Hi, I'm Mic. I farm in the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire. We have 121 acres of hill farm and we farm using holistic management principles. As you can see behind me, there's a view over Stanton Moor and into Chatsworth.

Morning, sheep! How is everyone. Well done getting in a nice line so I can count you.

The cows are asking to move fields. We farm some very noisy Belted Galloways paired with sheep, turkeys and geese, and they rotate round. These are some of our fencing setups. This is the field they're in and they're moving to this field; that's why they're shouting to us to move fields.

Part of being involved in the SFI (Sustainable Farming Incentive) pilot, we're hoping, is that we can explain to Defra the sheer amount of bureaucracy involved in applying to these schemes. Having spent several months reading all the documentation and then further months trying to fill in all the forms, we'd like to see that Defra can combat some of the paperwork that farmers face and the legislation. Farming needs to be kept straightforward. This would allow farmers to spend more time with their animals and more time looking after nature, and that's for everybody's benefit.

The biggest challenge we have is working with local authorities and dealing with legislation. We want to see Defra do more to bring payments direct to farmers and through less difficult paperwork, especially to reward farmers who are doing things that benefit everybody, like looking after nature.

Investing in infrastructure is fundamental to sustainable farming. That's why we installed a rainwater capture and harvesting system so that we can have troughs in each one of our pastures and they just turn on and off with a tap. This means that the water's not sitting around for badgers and deers to infect with TB (tuberculosis).

You see our grass is full of lots of different types of plants. This allows the animals to have a diverse diet. It's really good for their long-term health. We want to see Defra trying to reward farmers who cultivate lots of different types of plants.

As livestock farmers, we know it's really important to keep trees in the fields. This allows shade, scratching posts and a new type of food for them to eat. Cows and sheep love eating trees and berries, as do lots of other wildlife.We want to see that Defra will include more infield trees not bounded off for animals to enjoy.