Clock House Farm places great importance on the wildlife and other environmental features of the land under their care. In the most recent report from the Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group the farm was complimented on its ability to achieve the delicate balance between producing fruit intensively whilst providing habitat for diverse and abundant wildlife.Clock House Farm is mainly located on the Greensand Ridge which is an area of great visual importance to the area of Kent and also lends itself well to the maintenance and enhancement of natural flora and fauna.
The farming policy we have adopted has been to make optimum use of natural resources and to follow the philosophy of integrated crop management and the guidance given in the LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) Sustainable Farming Review where applicable. We have therefore retained the great variety of woodland and natural vegetation that has existed for centuries in this area. All land that is not used for crop production is managed to produce habitats capable of supporting the widest range of flora and fauna. The management of these areas is very different to that being used in the cropping area where the objective is to obtain the optimum yield from a mono-culture.
Successful management of these environmental habitats involves obtaining the maximum diversity of flora and fauna with the minimum of disturbance. The farm has a number of orchards and fields surrounded by windbreaks to improve the micro-climate within the cropping area as well as woodland, hedges, grasslands, ditches, ponds, reservoirs and native specimen trees. Pesticide applications are excluded from all non cropping areas such as wind-breaks, hedges, ditches and grass headlands. Traffic on non cropping areas is reduced to a minimum to avoid disturbing wildlife and reduce soil compaction.
FWAG (Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group) completed a Whole Farm Plan to raise awareness of key wildlife habitats, other environmental and archaeological features and best farming practice. FWAG gave the farm various pointers on conservation enhancement but much is already in place. FWAG complimented the farm on being a ‘fantastic example of applying a fully integrated approach to a natural system to make the environment work both for the farmer and for wildlife’.