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Thu 12th July 2018
Award-winning farming recognised at Castle Howard
Latest From: Estate

The environmental work of the organisation tasked by Castle Howard to look after 900 hectares of estate farmland has been recognised with an award from the Yorkshire Agricultural Society at The Great Yorkshire Show. Ness Hall, based in Nunnington, secured the North Yorkshire Regional Tye Trophy in the annual awards. 

Ness Hall’s approach fits well with the history of the Castle Howard estate, which has been farming for the environment for over 20 years. Today, 139 hectares of estate farmland are part of a Higher Level Stewardship agreement, an agri-environment scheme that helps famers and land managers protect wildlife and create new habitats. 

The Ness Hall team now works with the Castle Howard Estate to manage hedgerows, which act as wildlife corridors and provide important habitats and nesting sites for farmland birds and small mammals, and plant pollen and nectar-rich flower mixes to supply food for insects such as butterflies and bumblebees during spring and summer. Cereals and crops which attract insects and are an important source of food for birds are specially selected, and the team provide supplementary feeding in winter for farmland birds when food is scarcer. 

Richard Murray Wells, of Ness Hall commented, “Ness Hall is delighted to be presented with the Tye Trophy for North Yorkshire. Our goal has always been to farm efficiently whilst ensuring that we maintain and improve the environment around us. A lot of people have helped us achieve this award and I would particularly like to thank the bird survey volunteers, the bee enthusiasts and the many other volunteers who gave their time to help. We are very proud of what has been achieved, and winning this award will encourage us to try even harder.” 

The sentiment was echoed by Nicholas Howard of Castle Howard: “Landscape and conservation have always been at the heart of Castle Howard. Looking after our natural heritage is just as vital as preserving our magnificent buildings and monuments and, as stewards of the land, we believe it is important to protect and enhance our native wildlife. I am delighted that the Tye Trophy recognizes the efforts of Yorkshire farmers in this area and congratulate Ness Hall on their award.”