Somerset farmers Nick and Claire Bragg have made Frogmary Green Farm a fantastic positive environmental attraction for the public and their customers – as well as a vast diversity of wildlife, flora and fauna. In the past year the award winning LEAF demonstration farm has welcomed supermarket buyers, Government Ministers, NFU and Environment Agency advisors, schools, community groups and hordes of general public.
“We believe that a huge part of our job as farmers is to help people understand where their food comes from and to break down some of the barriers that exist between producers and consumers,” says Claire.
As part of their mission to demonstrate that productive intensive farming and ecology can coexist, Nick and Claire have planted some four km of new hedge, along with over 1400 trees. Around 15 hectares of the farm is dedicated to margins, ponds and wildflower strips.
They have already successfully grown the Operation Pollinator Annual Wildflower mix as part of a rich area of diverse habitats including woodland, water and grasses. Now a new Bees’n’Seeds mix, planned for sowing this spring, will add a new dimension of extending the flower pollen and nectar availability for pollinators, along with seeds to feed farmland birds over the winter months.
“The Annual Wildflowers provided a colourful display, and was full of fascinating insect life throughout the summer,” recalled Nick.
“We are going to top up the seedbank for a second year on the same area, as well as managing it by mowing a strip to further extend the flowering season.
“We have also earmarked the area for the Bees’n’Seeds mix, where it will have a visual impact alongside the lake and attract a further diversity of wildlife onto the farm.”
Nick highlights that the farm’s environmental features are targeted where they will have the best potential benefit for wildlife, but also where they fit agronomically with a multifunctional role, to protect soil and water resources, for example.
Frogmary Green Farm has been a major supplier of supermarket pre-pack potatoes and now produces around half a million broiler chickens a year for multiple retailers.