A trial of 13th Century farming methods has seen a farm transformed into a “haven” for rare wildlife according to the National Trust.
According to the wildlife charity, “strip-field” farming trialled on a South Wales farm has tripled its wildlife population, attracting rare birds such as the Hen Harrier and Grasshopper Warbler.
As many as 63 butterflies were spotted on the farm by the National Trust in 60 seconds following the implementation of the ancient methods.
The National Trust’s countryside manager, Alan Kearsley-Evans said: “It’s fantastic to see such results. We have simply reverted to farming sustainably and with astounding results. We know that our farm is very small, but the principle of what we’re doing and the results could be applied to large intensive farms. We aim to prove in a few years just how viable this method is and to showcase the many benefits it delivers.”
Mark Hipkin, a National Trust ranger, added: “By planting vast amounts of sunflowers, poppies and our other crops we have attracted more pollinators and birds. In fact, this year taking a walk through the sunflower fields we’ve seen a bumble bee on nearly every sunflower head.
“We aim to harvest next month in an old 1970s combine harvester which is small enough to turn in the restored narrow strip fields.”