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Cover crop open day


Cover crop open day

Dyson Farming are trialling a range of cover crop species together with Anglian Water and Boston Seeds. Cover crops benefit soils by protecting them from excess water, ice and wind and also maintain nitrogen levels and other nutrients to benefit the next crop.

We’re inviting farmers, growers, agronomists and industry representatives to join us for a cover crop open day on Tuesday 22 November. Here you’ll learn about our trials and how cover crops can benefit your land through interactive and practical plot tours. We are offering two tours throughout the morning, which you can book below.

Our large-scale plots cover tilled and no-till land and were all sown on 8 September. They include:

– Five different cereals

– Four clovers

– Four vetches

– Four mixtures

– Three mustards

– Three radishes

We’ll discuss the effect they have on soil structure, nutrient capture and release, water quality, and ease of establishment for the next crop.

 

Date: 22 November 2022

Venue: Dovecote Hall Farm, Westville, Boston, Lincolnshire, LN4 4YH 

What3words location: ///asked.somebody.delved

 

Booking and tour times: 

Tour 1 at 8:30 am follow this link to book a space

Tour 2 at 10:30 am follow this link to book a space

 

Please note that the trials field will be signposted from Dovecote Hall Farm. Appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear are advised.

Head Office

The Estate Office,
Cyclone Way, Nocton,
Lincoln LN4 2GR

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Branston Junior Academy visit


Branston Junior Academy visit

As part of our commitment to the local community, we have formed a strong relationship with Branston Junior Academy.

Just five miles from our head office, we gave the children a chance to see behind the scenes of a farm they’ll pass regularly. On Friday, we welcomed the entire school to The Hive before splitting up and exploring different parts of the farm, and farming, throughout the day.

From the importance of British produce to the differences in soils, this was a brilliant opportunity for the next generation, and farmers of the future, to see what goes into 21st century farming and how we care for the environment and surrounding landscape.

During the day, the children met members from teams across the business including Agronomy, Farming and Environment.

Management project

Ian Willoughby gave each class their own plot of land. Each plot is abundant with wildlife and wildflowers. The children set out to explore their plot, recording the wildflowers they found and spotting animal poo and pellets, which gave them a clue to what animals visit or call the area home.

Their task is to create a management plan to encourage more, or different, flora and fauna to flourish within their plot. From creating areas of wetland or hedgerows to doing nothing at all, each plot will be managed by each class, with changes being made over time.

Ask a farmer

Farm Manager, Paul Carrott, and Livestock Manager, Tom Wilks, tested the children’s knowledge on crops and how they’re used, before the tables were turned for a Q&A session.

Farming equipment and soil health

Technical Agronomist, Ed Ford, introduced each group to a range of farming equipment including combines, foragers and tractors. He then explained how drones are used across our farmland to determine soil health, followed by an extremely popular flight demonstration.

Soils

Dr Tom Storr, Research Agronomist, got the children’s hands dirty, determining soil type by feeling different samples. After that, they were given a shovel to dig up roots of crops which they compared and learnt how they affect soil structure.

British produce

Estates and Environment Manager, Jo Knight, asked the children to think about where their food came from. From sugar to strawberries, they discovered the thousands of miles much of their food travels before landing on their plates and how British farms can buck the trend.

Nocton Wood

Some of the children were even treated to a walk around Nocton Wood, a private, protected woodland that sits on our estate. They spoke about the animals who live there and how our team maintain the area to provide the perfect habitat.

You can visit Nocton Wood, this Halloween – join us for ghost stories, spooky walks and creepy surprises. For more information, click here.

Head Office

The Estate Office,
Cyclone Way, Nocton,
Lincoln LN4 2GR

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Fright night at the farm

Fright night at the farm

There’s something spooky down at Nocton Wood – join us this Halloween and discover the story of Victoria.

Follow the path of Victoria’s final journey and discover the gruesome tale of her untimely end in the ancient woodland where her ghost remains to this day.

A spooky wander for Halloween night, look out for the bats speeding through the trees and swooping overhead. 

Spot The Nine Brethren – an ancient oak that once marked the boundary of the Augustinian Priory that stood nearby.

Once a main road through the wood, you’ll walk in the footsteps of highwaymen and monks, and follow the trails of lords and ladies making their way through the once dangerous area.

What will happen?

Arrive at The Hive and climb aboard our tour trailer from 4 pm to enjoy a tractor ride down to Nocton Wood. Here, you’ll be greeted with tales of the wood and the terrifying story of Victoria.

You’ll be given a map to help you find your way through the wood – a 30-40 minute trail through the darkness. Look out for a host of resident wildlife, from deer to bats.

You’ll meet the highwayman and other creepy characters on your way, so keep your wits about you or be in for a fright.

Spot the letters hidden amongst the trees to crack the code and earn a treat at the end of the night.

Once your walk is over, you’ll jump aboard the trailer for a ride back to The Hive where you’ll be able to enjoy hot drinks, hot dogs, and jacket potatoes, included in your ticket price.

Tickets

50% of your ticket price will be donated to Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance.

Adults: £12

Children: £5

Email enquiries@dysonfarming.com to book your place.

What you’ll need

🧟‍♀️ | A creepy costume

☔ | Waterproofs and suitable warm clothing

🥾 | Suitable footwear – boots or wellies are ideal

🔦 | A torch – your phone is fine, but remember you might need this to document your day

Where to go

🗺 | The Hive, Wasps Nest, LN4 2GR

What3Words | blink.spearing.meaty

  • The paths through Nocton Wood are naturally uneven, making them unsuitable for wheelchair users as well as pushchairs. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
  • Dogs are not permitted in the wood.
  • This is a family-friendly event, although due to the scary nature, it is important to take caution as you make your way around our path. Children must be supervised at all times.
  • As this event takes place after the clocks change, the sun is due to set at around 4.30 pm, which means visibility will be extremely poor in parts of the trail. Please bring a suitable torch with you to help you find your way.
  • Costumes are encouraged, although please be prepared for the seasonal weather conditions and please wear suitable footwear. The trail may be muddy in places.
  • This is a protected site so please be respectful of your surroundings and the wildlife in the area. Please take any rubbish out of the wood with you – bins are provided at The Hive.
  • Toilets are available at The Hive.
  • Photography is encouraged – share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook @DysonFarming.
  • Please be mindful of the people around you.
  • Last entry is at 7 pm, with the final trailer returning from Nocton Wood at 7.45 pm.
  • The Hive remains open with food and refreshments available until 8 pm.
  • Parking is available at The Hive and is free of charge.
Head Office

The Estate Office,
Cyclone Way, Nocton,
Lincoln LN4 2GR

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Strawberries in stock now

Dyson Farming strawberry sorbet

With temperatures never before seen in the UK forecast over the coming days, we wanted to help keep you cool with our easy strawberry sorbet recipe. There’s no need for an ice cream maker – simply follow our easy steps.

All you’ll need is a punnet of Dyson Farming strawberries, available from M&S stores and the local farm shops listed below. You may need some warm water, and you can also add raw honey for extra sweetness.

Method

  • Freeze fresh Dyson Farming strawberries for 2-3 hours or until solid
  • Place your frozen strawberries into a food processor or heavy-duty blender and blend until they’re smooth
  • If you find the consistency isn’t quite how you’d like, add a little warm water to help
  • Taste. If you’re looking for something sweeter, add small amounts of raw honey to suit your taste.

This method will give you a soft textured sorbet. For a firmer result, freeze for 2-3 hours before serving.

Local farm shops

NHP of Sibsey

Leagate Road Farm Shop 

The Willows Country Store 

Mountains Farm Shop 

Brandon’s Market Fresh 

The Country Victualler 

Four Seasons, Spilsby 

Becky’s fruit and veg van 

Grange Farm Produce

Tag @dysonfarming in your Instagram posts, and we’ll share your delicious results.

 

Head Office

The Estate Office,
Cyclone Way, Nocton,
Lincoln LN4 2GR

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Dyson Farming in the community: The Lincolnshire Show


Lincolnshire Show 2022

Dyson Farming in the community: The Lincolnshire Show

Dyson Farming attended the 2022 Lincolnshire Show this week, the first since 2019. Sponsoring the Schools’ Challenge and educating visitors on the technologies used throughout our estates, the day was a roaring success.

The Schools’ Challenge took place across both days with school children of all ages taking part. We sponsored the ‘Food for Thought’ challenge, which encouraged primary children to develop healthy and nutritious snacks for throughout the school day.

They were also encouraged to use produce grown at school and to create an awareness campaign to promote the importance of healthy eating. From potato skins to beetroot brownies, there were some brilliant ideas on show, with one school even handing out sample honey from their school bees.

 

Dyson Farming Managing Director, Daniel Cross, was part of a team of judges who looked closely at each entry, listening to presentations from the children, whose enthusiasm and expertise were brilliant to see. Congratulations to all the schools involved for their hard work and impressive displays.

Our team of experts were on hand to chat to visitors, while displays helped explain how technologies such as anaerobic digestion contribute to our circular farming system. Other areas of the stand demonstrated how we invest in our soils and carefully manage our natural capital to support wildlife. Sample strawberries, grown in our 15-acre Carrington Glasshouse, were also on offer for visitors passing by which proved to be a real treat for all ages.

The show took on a purple theme to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with plenty on offer for any age and interest. The traditional agricultural theme took precedence with 2500 animals and the latest farming tech and innovation on show, while classic cars, BMX shows, shopping stalls and plenty more offered variation throughout the day. A Spitfire flyby was one highlight and the RAF Falcons amazed crowds with their parachute displays above the main ring.

Head Office

The Estate Office,
Cyclone Way, Nocton,
Lincoln LN4 2GR

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Bid for your next getaway!

Bid for your next getaway!

BID FOR YOUR NEXT HOLIDAY!!

To the highest bidder, we are offering a stay at one of our exclusive holiday cottages on the edge of the North Wessex Downs AONB in East Ilsley, near Newbury, Berkshire

The cottage is available for 3 nights from 10th June:

  • 3 double bedrooms 
  • 3 bathrooms
  • 1 pet allowed

The usual rate for this property is £1100 for a three-night stay. We are offering the property with NO RESERVE to the highest bidder for a stay on the dates stated above.

Bids will be accepted on a ‘best and final’ basis before 12 noon on Monday 30th May.

Submissions should be made via email to leisure@dysonfarming.com

 

Head Office

The Estate Office,
Cyclone Way, Nocton,
Lincoln LN4 2GR

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Award recognition for supporting pollinators

Award recognition for supporting pollinators

We were thrilled to hear the announcement from DEFRA that Dyson Farming’s environmental team have been named winners of the Bees’ Needs Champions Awards in the farming category. Ian Willoughby, Environmental Coordinator, also received special mention in the annual awards that recognise and celebrate exemplary initiatives to support pollinators.

Our Ongoing Dedication

Dyson Farming covers 14000ha and has ten environmental stewardship schemes managing 1,300ha of environmental features. Alongside this is over 200ha of voluntary environmental features. Annual assessments of species diversity and site surveys are carried out at a field level. These surveys not only record the diversity, but also have located Andrena nitida one of the many solitary mining bee species that play such an important part in pollinating crops and wildflowers, this species had not been recorded in Lincolnshire for 100 years. 

Increasing species within our grass fields has a benefit to animal health and improves flora within the sward. This is achieved by transferring green hay and spreading, to allow the sheep and cattle to forage and tread in the seeds, predominantly premium seed mixes, as well as overseeding specific seed mechanically and harrowing into the sward.  

But it is not all about providing a food source, it is important to consider the wider picture. A proportion of hedgerows are managed by laying each year, creating dense growth from the base of the hedge giving greater shelter. While stonewalls are maintained to give niche habitats depending on the direction they face and woodland brash piles are left in rows or heaps from pruning’s which get grown in with grass and other vegetation, all to create the perfect conditions for insects to hibernate over the winter months. 

Environmental Stewardship Placement

Strategic placement of environmental features at a landscape level can help maximise benefits for pollinating insects. Sheltered sunny spots are preferred for insects and in these locations the intense noise from there beating wings is a magical humming experience.  

Within our potato farming, tramlines and irrigation headlands are not planted for operational reasons. Instead of allowing the land to stay bare, these areas are sown with intense annual flowers making a highway and perfect foraging ground for bees. Simultaneously allowing free movement of beneficiaries within the growing crop helping to control pests and diseases, while benefitting soil health for the following growing crops.  

Woodland Management 

To increase the flora diversity, we implement cyclical mowing of the rides every two years, and an annual mowing plan to encourage and increase prolonged flora diversity. Woodlands are managed under continuous cover forestry with some areas of coppice to increase flora species through the woodland. 

Across the estate cover crops are a key factor to the extensive crop rotation and investment in soil health, although primarily used for soil health, this method protects and increases the soil flora and fauna but provides much needed late pollen and nectar for pollinating insects.  

The grass and wildflowers margins that are against the edges of the fields provide foraging and shelter habitat for various species, allowing movement through the landscape along these species’ rich corridors. Blocks of pollen, nectar and wild bird cover features are evenly spread through the landscape to enhance the pollen and nectar provisions with the margins. Voluntary features link these corridors providing increased pollen and nectar that can be enhanced by altering drilling dates.  

Advocacy for wildlife  conservation

We work with local schools to aid a better understanding of the environment, where possible we build wildlife friendly areas within the school and link this with the importance of having pollinators and other species for food production.  

In addition, we regularly hold talks with the local parishes, groups, scouts and engage with the local community though external talks and events to explain about ongoing environmental delivery and how resources within the environment are cared for. 

There is a much wider public benefit and wellbeing piece of Dyson Farming’s environmental management, as many of the features border the extensive public and permissive footpaths across the Estate. A member of the public has previously said when referring to these areas ‘it makes me feel happy’, a very important benefit for all our mental and physical wellbeing. 

Head Office

The Estate Office,
Cyclone Way, Nocton,
Lincoln LN4 2GR

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Summer has come early at Dyson Farming 

Summer has come early at Dyson Farming 

Championing the innovation that enables Dyson Farming to grow quality strawberries when traditionally British strawberries are in very short supply contributes to the UK becoming more self-sufficient in food, reducing the air miles associated with imported fruit. 

Dyson Farming is harvesting its delicious British strawberries which are grown sustainably beyond the traditional UK summer season in its six-hectare glasshouse in Carrington, Lincolnshire. This is the fourth harvest of strawberries produced at the glasshouse since it opened in March 2021, the glasshouse team led by Angel Angelov are continually innovating to ensure a consistent and exceptional quality of fruit. Angel explains:

“Growing the perfect strawberry requires great attention to detail; from the way we treat our pollinators, through to selecting the right biological beneficials to suppress pests, this is all achieved by employing a great team of individuals. We then focus our final attention to the quality of picking and packing the fruit, to ensure total satisfaction for our end customers.”

The use of advanced technology means the team monitor each stage of development, from seedling to fruit, tending to micro needs and the crop as a whole. Innovation is at the heart of Dyson Farming and the team at the glasshouse are constantly exploring how technology can be harnessed to achieve the optimal growing environment. 

The giant glasshouse is 424m long holding 832 rows of strawberries, this latest crop consists of 700,000 strawberry plants which will produce approximately 750t of strawberries for British consumers. 

Harnessing the power of renewable energy

  • The glasshouse uses heat and power from the neighbouring Anaerobic Digestor plant which contributes to the overall circular farming model.

  • Digestate and a small amount of strawberry waste (strawberry plants and coir), are applied to nearby fields as an organic fertiliser to improve soils and crop yields. In the future, we are expecting to also use CO2 from our AD plant.

  • Rainwater is harvested from the glasshouse roof and stored in a lagoon, which is then used to irrigate the plants.

  • Crop growth is optimised by the mechanics of the hanging gutters which hold the plants. By enabling them to ‘swing’ from side to side, this allows 15% extra crop to be grown in the same area.

Every strawberry is carefully picked by hand by our experienced team of 70 glasshouse workers who will pick up to 14t a day. We ensure quality control, before weighing, packing, labelling and storing the fruit ready for transit in our on-site cold store.  

Dyson Farming strawberries are available to buy in M&S stores nationwide from April.  

Head Office

The Estate Office,
Cyclone Way, Nocton,
Lincoln LN4 2GR

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Creating a nourishing environment for British beef and lamb

Creating a nourishing environment for British beef and lamb

Calving has begun, and with warmer temperatures, crops are sprouting; there’s plenty of new life at Dyson Farming’s livestock farm, in North Somerset. 

Since starting the business from the ground-up in 2017, our fully traceable, multi award-winning beef and lamb continues to thrive at the Southwest estate. 

Traceability and provenance are an important area of the business. We use technology to generate a digital footprint of every animal born and bred at Hinton Farm, recording future eating quality and upholding high welfare and environmental credentials.  

There are 250 cows and 1300 sheep across the farm and the welfare of our animals is of course the highest priority. Whilst we are proud to be a part of various assurance schemes, we strive to exceed the standards. 

There has been notable investment to install excellent facilities; such as pasture tracks (walkways) to the grazing fields, and winter housing, as we want to provide the animals with the best living environment possible. In turn, we also believe this contributes to the overall quality of the produce. 

Peter Lord, South West Farm Manager talks about the ongoing optimisation to achieve a truly circular farming mix. 

“Livestock is a major part of our whole farm approach, growing crops within the arable rotation to feed and produce livestock helps to reduce the need for bought in feed, keeping food miles down and food production local for our customers.” 

Dyson Farming is proud of its commitment to sustainability and responsibility to maintain low food miles. Our livestock travel the minimum 10-12 miles to an abattoir and then straight to the farm shop or restaurant. Our longstanding relationships with local businesses and restaurants mean that customers can be assured of where their food has come from and trust in the great taste when they see a Dyson Farming label on the counter or listed in a menu. 

A list of places local to the origin farms, where you can buy or try Dyson Farming beef and lamb; 

Farleigh Road Farm Shop, https://www.farleighroadfarmshop.co.uk 

HE Williams & Sons Butchers, Frome https://www.hewilliams.co.uk 

The Bull, Hinton https://thebullathinton.co.uk 

The Rose & Crown, Hinton Charterhouse https://www.theroseandcrownbath.com/en-GB/homepage 

Our beef and lamb supplies the cafes and restaurants that serve 4000+ employees at the Malmesbury campus for Dyson Technology, under the guidance of Joe Croan, Dyson Head Chef.

We also independently entered the Great British Food Awards and the Taste of The West 2021 competition where our topside roasting joints, fillet steak, leg of lamb and lamb chops achieved GOLD awards, with our leg of lamb quoted as the best tasting lamb of the competition in the Great British Food Awards 2021.  

Panel judge of the Great British Food Awards on the quality of our meat:  

“The leg of lamb was simple to cook, and the flavour was phenomenal. After resting for 20 minutes the lamb was so tender it could be sliced using a butter knife and was enjoyed by us all. Simply put this was the best lamb we cooked. Taste 10/10” 

From soil health to hi-tech agronomy and cutting-edge cultivation techniques, we are committed to a long term, regenerative model that leaves a positive land legacy in 100 years’ time. 

Head Office

The Estate Office,
Cyclone Way, Nocton,
Lincoln LN4 2GR

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Passionate, pioneering people

Passionate, pioneering people

At Dyson Farming we’re proud of our people. Across the business, we employ over 180 men and women, whose knowledge, expertise and dedication fuels our commitment to being a force for good in farming. 

Fairness and inclusivity are at the heart of our conduct as we strive to be a progressive employer, offering employees the opportunity to thrive in their careers.     

There’s a wide variety of jobs at Dyson Farming and to recognise our great people, this International Women’s Day, we speak to four women about their roles in the business. 

Lucy Farrow, Spray Operator

Lucy is a Spray Operator, based in Carrington, working across the Lincolnshire Estate. The daughter of a farmer herself, at university she studied to become a teacher, but decided to work whilst considering further study options. She started as a farm worker four years ago and achieved her spray tickets last year.

“It’s one big family, we work hard and have a laugh. Everyone shares the same passion for farming.”

To begin each day, Lucy speaks to the Head of Harvesting to make a plan of what’s needed. Crop protection is an area of the business where innovation and technology have a vital role. Dyson Farming uses precision spraying technology, which means herbicides can be applied when weeds are identified. Mitigating the need to spray across entire fields.

The role requires real attention to detail, sometimes working alone or with a wider team depending on what’s needed. Lucy is also trained in pea harvesting and drilling. 

“The best part of my job is that I’m entrusted with a lot of responsibility and I know that makes a real difference in supporting the Farm Manager and wider team.” 

Joanna Knight, Estate Surveyor

Joanna knew early on that she wanted to work in Estate Management after graduating from Harper Adams with a degree in Rural Enterprise & Land Management. 

Following graduation, Joanna worked for five years as Rural Surveyor on the Holkham Estate in Norfolk. Having relocated to Lincolnshire, Joanna joined Dyson Farming in 2016.   

She manages all areas of the estate’s assets, predominantly commercial property as well as some support for the business’ residential offering. There’s a strong focus on natural capital and effective planning for the future, in order to stay ahead of the curve. 

Joanna works directly with the property team and Dyson Farming’s enviromment coordinator. Her remit crosses all parts of the business, with a focus on environmental management, grant applications, natural capital and carbon accounting. She also manages other aspects of the business including the insurance portfolio. Joanna also works with Green Crop Information, the research arm of Dyson Farming, aiding with presentations and Dyson Farming’s perspective on natural land.  

There’s huge diversity, citing the best part of her role being part of a business, getting to fully understand it and helping it to develop over time. 

“It’s a privilege to work for a business that wants to be a force for good for agriculture. It makes me feel that my contribution also makes a difference” 

Joanna is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and a fellow of The Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV). She’s also recently completed Dyson Farming’s Management Development Scheme. 

Lucie Redwood, Trainee Glasshouse Manager

Lucie grew up on a local arable farm and studied Agriculture at Newcastle University. She joined Dyson Farming in 2018 as a seasonal worker, but loved the company and stayed well beyond her original 6-month contract.

At the glasshouse, technology is at the forefront of everything. Lucie runs the weekly payroll which uses the Priva FS Labour System. She downloads reports from the glasshouse computer so there are no paper timesheets. Staff all have personal devices that scan to clock-in and out for the day as well as every task in between. They are also used to record their picking speed and yield in harvest.

“The biologicals in the glasshouse are also fascinating. Particularly the bees, but equally the pest control bios; spreading tiny insects around the glasshouse which can dramatically cut pesticide rates by over 80%.”

This month Lucie’s moving into a new role as Sales and Trials Coordinator in the glasshouse, where she will be responsible for communicating strawberry orders between customers and the glasshouse team, coordinating stock, picking forecasts, and daily management of the plant trials area.

“I love puzzle-solving, so I enjoy it most when staff or colleagues come to me with an issue which I can then work out – especially if that means building an app or learning new software. The supply of beautiful strawberries is a bonus!”

Lucinda Smith, Agronomist

Lucinda went to Riseholme Agricultural College, during which time she had work experience on a farm carrying out quality control of potatoes. 

Previous to beginning her career at Dyson Farming, Lucinda worked as a trainee agronomist and then distribution agronomist at ProCam (Agronomy and Crop Production advice and services.)  

As part of the agronomy team, Lucinda spends the majority of her time field walking, inspecting crops, she then generates a report with a recommendation of her findings to the farm teams for crop management. 

“The best part of my job is getting to be outside and meeting new people. Dyson Farming is an impressive business to work for.” 

If you’re interested in finding out more about careers at Dyson Farming, check out our current vacancies.

Head Office

The Estate Office,
Cyclone Way, Nocton,
Lincoln LN4 2GR

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