So in preparation for our second field lab event looking at practical ways to reduce GHG emissions from farming, here is a blog written by our second host farm Caplor Farm, explaining a little bit about where they have come from and what inspired them to delve deeper into sustainability and issues surrounding carbon management on-farm.
Gareth Williams’ had been leading a 100 acre mixed farming family business, when in 2007 floods severely affected his potato crops. The farm, in Fownhope, Herefordshire has been run by the family since 1923. The extreme weather lead him to re-evaluate how best to manage his farm to ensure the future generations of the Williams’ family will be able to manage it successfully.
Image: Potato sorting on the farm
He found himself reading about Triple Bottom Line accounting and incorporating this approach into his business, providing him and his young family with a sustainable future whilst making the world a better place.
Image: Gareth Williams and Caplor Farm Solar Thermal and PV Array
Renewable Energy was a natural way for Caplor Farm to diversify after a 70kWp Solar Panel system was installed on the farm in 2009. Gareth Williams was so impressed with the returns and satisfied that the new approach was saving 15 tonnes of carbon on average annually, that he wanted to spread the word and help others achieve success from renewable energy installations. Caplor Farm now enjoys the benefits of additional renewable energy technology such as Solar Thermal production of hot water, Biomass heating for several buildings on site and even a Wind Turbine. Combined, these technologies see less money being spent on electricity, less farm waste going to landfill and more control over on-site energy production.
Image: Gareth Williams and Schoolchildren see animals on Caplor Farm
Since the beginning of this journey, Caplor Energy and Caplor Farm have been involved with the local community environment collective - Fownhope Carbon Reduction Action Group, speaking at corporate events and inviting School children to experience Renewable Energy in action on the farm.
From this integrated approach to environment, social and financial matters, Gareth Williams hopes to enable Caplor Farm to react proactively to changing climates and farming practices ensuring a commercial future for his family and community who it involves.
To find out more about the event which is taking place on the 5th November, and to book your place, please click here.