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 Conservation Work

Preserving, and improving, the habitats and natural environments on our farm for future generations to enjoy, is very important to us. Since 2002, much of the farm has been part of The Countryside Stewardship Scheme. Currently the farm is part of the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme (HLS). As result of both schemes we have been carried out a number of major conservation projects on the farm.

These include:

- Re-introduction of over 2500 metres of new hedgerows

- Laid (with the help of both The Surrey and The South of England hedge-laying Societies) over 3000 metres of existing hedgrerows

- Created 3 wildlife ponds in Long Meadow

- Maintained over 5Km of 6 metre wide field margins, which act as wildlife corridors.

- Pollarded over 100 waterside trees, in order to open up the area around the PippBrook stream. This has created a much lighter environment, allowing a greater variety of plant and animal species to thrive.

- Maintain 40 acres of conservation-grade grassland. These are managed without the use of artificial fertilizers and chemicals.

In 2003, in conjunction with a local coppice-worker, who was just starting his business, we set about restoring some of the farms 60 acres of woodland. We have, so far, coppiced 10 acres. This is the first time the woods have been coppiced for over 70 years. In 2014 we applied for a 10 year management plan for our woodland that should see further restoration work done over the next decade.

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Sondes Place Farm, Dorking, England