FWAG East member Matthew Doggett of Manor Farms, Barley, has narrowly missed out on winning the coveted national FWAG Silver Lapwing Award. Matt was shortlisted for the award for his passion for delivering for wildlife and to farm more regeneratively.
The FWAG Silver Lapwing Award is a highly coveted award that recognises farmers for their outstanding efforts to promote good habitat and environmental management on their farm. In its 43rd year, this year’s award went to Cumbrian farmer James Robinson, who was chosen from a national shortlist of five farms, each selected for demonstrating outstanding commitment to good environmental practices, alongside running successful farm businesses.
Finalists and judges for 2022. From Left: Julia & Chris Butterfield, North Lodge Farm - Finalists. James Robinson, Strickley Farm - 2022 Winner, Robert Jackson, Manor Farm - Runner Up, Matt Doggett, Manor Farm - Runner Up, Chris Bulter, Judge and Jim Egan, Judge.
FWAG East Project Manager Emily Stacey attended and gave this account of the day:
“The presentation day was held on 5 July at the farm of the previous winner from 2019, Hole Farm, Norfolk. Proceedings began with a warm welcome from Chris Butler, the Chair of the FWAG Association. The host Charles Inglis followed with an insight into the history of the farm and the poor state that it had been in when they took on the land. The Prairie Farm was bought by his in-laws in 1982, who transformed the farm through restoration of woodland and hedgerows that had been pulled out. Through the planting of 9 miles of hedgerows, 60 acres of new woodland, 14 ponds and scrapes and 56 acres of environmental margins, the farm is now a haven for wildlife."
“After a delicious lunch - which provided a taste of Norfolk with Cromer crab and venison - the judges (Martin Hole, Jim Egan and Chris Butler) praised the national finalists on their achievements. James Robinson from Kendall, Cumbria was awarded the beautiful silver lapwing trophy for his conservation efforts including the management of species-rich hay meadows, pond creation, beck re-naturalisation and restoration of traditional of dry-stone walls."
"The competition was incredibly fierce this year and for only the second time in the history of the Silver Lapwing the judges awarded two equal runners-up: Matt Doggett, Manor Farm, Barley, Royston, and Robert and Lynne Jackson, Manor Farm, Cheltenham."
“After the presentation, the 80 attendees headed out for a farm walk to see how the host farm had been transformed. The walk included some truly inspirational sights, including newly created ponds, flower-rich margins, cultivated margins for arable plants, and new and ancient SSSI woodland. Guests were treated to a nest box making demonstration as well as the use of horses in less destructive woodland management."
“The day was the perfect way to celebrate the achievements of the nominated farmers. It was kindly sponsored by Frontier Agriculture, and supported by Agrii and Ashtons Legal. Our congratulations go to the winner and to all of the nominees – keep up the sterling good work!”