18 April 2024
Lower Hampen Farm Visit

I was delighted to visit Lower Hampen Farm situated in a picturesque Cotswold valley where the Handy family have been farming arable and livestock for over 220 years.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP visits Lower Hampen Farm

They are committed members of the Nature Friendly Farming Network, which campaigns to secure a sustainable, resilient and fair food system. As a farmer myself and representing a highly rural constituency, I was very interested to learn about their approach to increase biodiversity through sustainable farming methods and improving soil health for future generations.

Clive and Lydia Handy kindly gave me a tour of the farm where it is currently lambing season. It was evident that working with nature is the basis for everything on their farm. They strive to build soil health and fertility by not disturbing it and growing crops without artificial inputs and harmful sprays. Their arable rotations include 4-year species rich herb leys, which together with winter cover crops and cereals under sown with legumes are all grazed by livestock which adds extra nutrients.

The farm produces heritage and ancient grains that are not dependant on high nitrogen inputs and make their own bread flour and malting barley, they have adopted rare breeds and process the wool into brilliant products, and their market garden produces a range of vegetables which are used by the local community. 

It was very impressive to see what they have achieved and their commitment to sustainable agricultural practices. Visiting farms with innovative mixed farming methods gives me useful insights. In Parliament I regularly advocate for farmers interests and highlight the huge importance of UK food production and security.

Their farm shop is open to the public on Saturdays 10am to 1pm. 

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Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP visits Lower Hampen Farm