Last autumn, following concerns about water quality in the North Cotswold catchment area, Natural England began a set of trials on August Farms. Their study looks at how cover crops performeconomically and their role in the reduction of nutrient leaching.Frontier and Kings collaborated in these trails, offering seedexpertise and support.

Thanks to Mr August's extensive experience with cover crops, the establishment procedure was ideal. The wheat crop was harvestedon 13th August with the straw being chopped and spread. The cover crops were direct drilled the next day, with 18 kg N/ha being usedas a starter, and then the area was ring rolled.

Game management

The shooting programme is based around the release of reared game that supplements the developing wild stock. Much work has been done with a variety of crops to improve the holding capacity of the farm so that the required habitat is available for game throughout the year. This has resulted in high quality shooting days from both improved existing drives and newly created ones.

With the ongoing challenge from badgers, maize is no longer grown at the site; cover is instead supplied by a combination of perennial strips that act as hedges, along with one and two year wild bird seed mixtures. The success of these is testament to the hard work of gamekeeper James Watchorn in establishing them with advice and guidance from Kings on crop selection, agronomy and ongoing management throughout the year.

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