The Friends of Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) have awarded Jack Graham of Haver Close Farm, located North West of Lofthouse in upper Nidderdale, as their Enterprising Farm Award Winner for 2011.
The Friends Enterprising Farm Award is run in association with the Nidderdale Agricultural Society and is sponsored by Nova Healthcare, a specialist brain cancer facility at St James's Hospital, Leeds. It is a bi-annual prize given to farmers working within the AONB and who have demonstrated enterprise and commitment to enhancing the natural environment. The winner receives a cheque for £300.
The judges were impressed by Mr Graham's sympathetic management of blanket bog, upland heath land and mixed ash woodlands which are priority habitats.
One of the judges, Brian Wood, a Friends Committee member, said: "Mr Graham's 628 hectare farm is located in one of the dale's most important yet uncompromising areas close to Scar House reservoir, a part of the dale popular with walkers. His work in the enhancement of moorland, protection and restoration of dry stone walling often representing different periods of enclosure, stock proofing ancient woodlands in the steep gills has been undertaken with great care and sympathy for the landscape. Selective, native species, new tree planting is scheduled later this year.
"This management contributes to maintaining and increasing populations of lapwing, a bird that has shown steep decline in numbers in recent years, curlew, red grouse, skylark and golden plover. The foraging land is present on and around the farm's inbye land and this helps other breeding birds including snipe, redshank, wheatear, oystercatcher and meadow pipits".
Picture shows (left to right): Paddy Green,
Director, Nova Healthcare (award sponsor), Jack Graham, Haver Close
Farm, Lofthouse (winner), Peter Ashby, Rose Tree Farm, Farnley