Introducing farmers of the Thame catchment
Questions & Answers with land managers of the Thame
1: Phil White D’Oyleys Farm
Where and what do you farm?
D’Oyleys Farm is a 250 hectare mixed family farm, with grazing livestock and arable, based in the village of Stadhampton in South Oxfordshire. We have 70 suckler cows – a mixture of Beef Shorthorn and Angus, that we graze on our river meadows; these cows suit the farm and our low-input grazing system. We also have about 300 ewes that we lamb in the spring. We finish all the lambs on our herbal leys. We have always produced traditional free-range turkeys at Christmas time and recently we have started rearing slow-grown pasture fed chickens all year round. We grow milling wheat, along with barley, oats and peas. As well as the home farm we also rent some land and buildings at Rofford Farm.
By Dr Pascale Nicolet & Hannah Worker
With continued pressures on the freshwater environment and limited resources, how do we prioritise conservation efforts to ensure the best gains can be achieve for freshwater biodiversity and reverse the decline of the freshwater environment?
Freshwater Habitats Trust has been working with national freshwater species and habitats experts to address this issue through the development of the Important Freshwater Areas (IFA) Concept. An evidence-driven and scalable approach to underpin the practical delivery of freshwater conservation projects through the identification of locations of regional or national importance for freshwater biodiversity.
We have been busy this summer undertaking Phase 2 of a large floodplain restoration project that has transformed an area of low diversity floodplain meadow into a large wetland complex. The area was designed specifically to enhance biodiversity and it incorporates a new backwater to increase resilience in the local fish population. This was a partnership project, undertaken with Freshwater Habitats Trust and Waddesdon Estate. Thanks also to the local Environment Agency (EA) officers and EA Biodiversity team in particular for their support throughout the project.
You can watch a summary video of the project here