CFE Pollinator Farm Champion

Last updated: 03 Nov 2016

Following a nationwide search the CFE are proud to announce that Olly Harrison from Merseyside is the CFE Pollinator Farm Champion 2016.

Through the CFE’s national network of farm advisers (alongside other industry experts), farmers and growers were put forward for the award for showing real commitment to on-farm pollinators by establishing habitat, delivering voluntary environmental management and being an advocate for increasing pollinator numbers on their farm. Olly Harrison and his sunflowers 1_37294

The competition was judged by Dr Chris Hartfield, Bee health specialist for the National Farmers’ Union and member of the Pollinator Advisory Steering Group for Defra’s National Pollinator Strategy.

‘Olly Harrison was a worthy winner of the CFE’s Pollinator Farm Champion for showcasing the balance between a productive commercial farm and great voluntary environmental management. All the measures that have been implemented on the farm are outside agri-environmental schemes and shows that the work being done goes above and beyond the basic requirements of legislation and outside a framework of funded schemes. Olly Harrison - CS article only_37587

Olly Harrison has established a range of habitats from pollen and nectar mix habitats, to sunflowers and millet for wider biodiversity benefits, with further cover crops being established over autumn to provide wider food sources for pollinators and beneficial insects.  

Furthermore environmental options from expiring Entry Level Stewardship agreement will be retained going forward. This is a key message of the CFE and shows commitment to environmental management and allows for the continuation of the positive benefits the pollinators will receive from features such a field margins, uncultivated field corners and fallow land.

Sam Durham, Chief Land Management Adviser for the NFU believes that:

voluntary environmental work is the core to Olly’s environmental management and underpins the commitment he has to balancing production and protecting the environment. It was clear that Olly is passionate about balancing food production with providing an enhanced and flourishing farmed environment.

Olly Harrison farms 1000 acres on the edge of Liverpool, Merseyside. Mixing the farm with diversification such a biomass, recycling, roof top solar energy and grain storage. The business primarily focuses on the winter wheat, oil seed rape, barley, spring beans and spring barley.
Olly alongside the arable cropping has established 2.5 acres of sunflowers, 2.5 acres of the CFE operation pollinator mix, 5 acres of late sown mustard and 2.5 acres of millet. Furthermore 150 acres of cover crops are being drilled this autumn for soil conservation as well as further wild bird seed habitat to support farmland birds over winter. 
‘Pollinators and other insects are very important to farmers and I want to make sure I provide habitat for them. I have established my mixes near and next to my OSR and bean crops to help with cross pollination and to help manage in-field pests. I also establish my sunflowers near public footpaths, so the general public can appreciate the countryside and also their work to help the environment. My business has to work, and the environmental work I do contributes to making my business profitable.’
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