A LEAF Visit around Tiptoe Farm, and the River Till Valley includes hearing all about the wild bird seed mixtures, the woodland and hedgerow projects, explanations of the modern farm machinery and the steps taken to grow the farm’s very own Heritage Potatoes with utmost care for the environment to LEAF Marque standards.
We provide plenty of opportunity for discussion and questions. The River Till, previously a Site of Special Scientific Interest, is now also designated a Special Area of Conservation.
Tiptoe Farm is based in North Northumberland on the River Till. Tiptoe Farm is a 250 hectare arable farm that aims to grow top quality potato and arable crops with care for the environment and wildlife.
Crops for food
Crops grown include:
We are involved in the Entry Level Scheme and Higher Level Scheme. There is much wild life including yellowhammers, lapwings, wagtails, barn owls, otters and red squirrels. We have created tussocky grass margins around our fields which are great habitats for ground nesting birds such as grey partridges. We grow 5 hectares of pollen and nectar crops to provide an insect-rich habitat for birds in the spring. We help provide winter feed for birds by growing 5 hectares of seed bearing crops and leave stubbles around all potato fields. All our birds are monitored by the RSPB. Over the years, we have planted hedges to create both wildlife corridors and nesting habitats. We keep hedges cut every two to three years to encourage blossom and berries and provide a food source for wildlife over the winter. We are planting native trees alongside semi-ancient natural woodland to create a multi superstructure for a wide range of wildlife. The River Till, previously a Site of Special Scientific Interest, is now also designated a Special Area of Conservation.
We have been hosting visits at Tiptoe Farm since 2000 and this has now been formalised through LEAF. We wish to help people's understanding of the story behind the food we grow food. We aim to show people Soil Management and Crop Nutrition, Crop Husbandry and Protection, Wildlife, Habitat and Landscape Features, illustrating what LEAF is about.
LEAF Demonstration Farms are commercial farms, which show the beneficial practices of Integrated Farm Management (IFM) to a broad range of audiences, through organised visits. They communicate an understanding of IFM in order to encourage uptake by farmers, support from the industry and political awareness of sustainable food and farming.
LEAF Members have access to further resources “Sustainable Soil Management at Tiptoe Farm” and “Water Management Bulletin: Farm in Focus.”