I obtained a BSc in Agriculture from Reading University in 1983 and have farmed on the Oxon/Wilts border near Faringdon ever since. I am a tenant of the National Trust on 750 acres at Colleymore farm and a part owner of 450 acres at Westmill farm. The farm business has a 110 cow dairy herd, arable and beef enterprises, several alternative farm enterprises and a HLS scheme.
I have been working on renewable energy generation and energy saving on the farm for over twenty years ranging from a 5MW Solar PV installation (commissioned July 2011) to extensive use of insulation in the farm buildings, experimenting with a legume understory in wheat to reduce use of nitrogen and N2O losses, a heat exchanger for the bulk tank etc etc.
I spent far too long (17 years!!) setting up Westmill wind farm, the largest wind farm in central southern England (5 x 1.3 MW turbines – www.westmill.coop); for this I was a finalist in Farmers Weekly Green Energy Farmer of the Year 2010.
I also helped set up community owned Westmill Solar Farm alongside the wind farm, for which I was a finalist in the Farmers Weekly Green Energy Farmer of the Year 2013 and Farmers Guardian Renewables Innovator of the Year 2013. I’m very clear about the importance and urgency of engaging, both within and beyond my work, with the threat of climate change and our responsibility to make change. FCT is my attempting to do that within my profession.You can read more about Westmill wind farm here.