Nature, Conservation & Energy
Trill Farm Ethos
Making any commercial farm work is a challenge, but we also aim to earn a living whilst living lightly on the land. We understand the importance of minimising our energy use, and being efficient in the use of our materials and resources.
We sit within a huge web of connections among the rocks, the soil, the water, through to the micro-organisms, the plants and animals, and of course, humans. As a species we need to recognise how we affect, and are affected by changes in any part of the system.
We believe that organic methods provide the only way forward for food production. Reliance on oil based fertilisers and pesticides is inherently unsustainable as supply dwindles and prices rise.
Our system relies on diverse species, good rotations, and fertility building to enrich the soil and keep our crops and animals healthy. We are certified by the Soil Association.
Trill is part of DEFRA's Higher Level Scheme, which gives support to farmers for carrying out environmentally beneficial management practices. These include re-establishing traditional orchards, restoring old hedgerows, species rich grassland and peatland, and providing free educational access visits.
We have a great range of wildlife at Trill. Our woodland is full of deadwood, providing home and food to a vast array of insect species, that in turn feed birds, bats and mammals including dormice.
We have a number rare species of bat – the Grey long eared, Barbastelles, and Lesser horseshoes, along with Soprano and Common pipistrelles, Serotine and Brown long eared bat.
We have recorded 32 different bird species on the farm so far, including several birds on the RSPB’s red list of concern – House sparrows, Song thrushes and Yellowhammers - and many from their amber list.
Three social groups of badgers can be seen at dusk, and groups of roe and sika deer roam the land. Otter spraint (droppings) and paw prints have been recorded along our stream, though this elusive creature has only been spotted twice in the flesh since we’ve been here.
Trill Farm is primarily a stock farm – much of our land is steeply sloping and has been permanent pasture for many years. To plough this land would release a huge amount of CO2 and leave us vulnerable to leaching and soil degradation. So cattle and sheep are raised here, which is done with minimal impact – they are grass fed with no concentrates.
We aim to minimise our energy use on-farm. The electricity we use is 100% renewable from Good Energy. We also have a number of small-scale energy generating systems on the farm:
- Solar panels two solar arrays on barn rooftops supply us with around 50% of the energy we use across the farm.
- Solar water heating is used to heat water for the guesthouse classroom and campsite.
- Ground source heat pumps heat the guesthouse and cottage. While not technically ‘renewable’, these systems give out approximately 4kw of heat for every 1kw of power used, and keep you very cosy in the process!
- A mini-wind turbine at the campsite, combined with some solar panels provide enough electricity to power a car battery, which in turn powers lighting at the campsite.
- Insulation as we have renovated buildings we have ensured maximum insulation has been used. Our guesthouse and cottage have exterior larch cladding using extremely locally sourced timber - from our own woods!