At Copas Farms we acknowledge that, with a rapidly growing world population and finite space and resources on the earth, the pressure on the natural environment is ever increasing. As the dominant species on the earth humans need to learn to work together to live in a sustainable way so that the natural environment is passed on in an enhanced state for future generations.
Copas Farms recognise that landowners and farmers as custodians of the countryside have a key role to play in managing the natural environment and operating in a sustainable way. Copas Farms is a multi-generational business that has sustainability as a core value.
Over the past couple of years, Copas Farms has reviewed all aspects of our operation to see how we might enhance our sustainability and reduce our carbon footprint on the earth. Some of our investments and actions are outlined below:
Carbon Capture and Soil Sequestered Carbon
For over two decades Copas Farms has been using a minimum cultivation system which does not involved ploughing. This has improved our soil’s structures and increased the amount of soil sequestration of atmospheric carbon locked up in the soil. During this period we have also invested in up to 13,329 tons of organic matter per annum that has been added to the soil in the form of compost (2,092T), farmyard manure (5,173T), digestate (4,279T) and Thames Biosolids (1,785T), locking in more carbon and improving soil fertility for future generations.
Woodland and Hedgerow Management
The Copas Farms Estate has 178 acres of woodland and over 15km of hedgerows. We regularly review these assets for maintenance and regeneration requirements. Last year we planted over 1km of hedgerows and 1,750 trees which help create additional habitats for the future and increase biodiversity.
On a number of our farms buildings we have installed solar panels to generate electricity for use on the farms. Any surplus capacity is sold back to the grid to give us a diversified income stream. This will help support the shift to green renewable energy. Currently we have 507kw of solar panels capacity that generate 541,000kwh of electricity per annum.
We have two biomass heating systems on our Estate. The 199kwh biomass boiler at Beenham Grange is currently supplying heat and hot water to 25 residential homes and 3 commercial premises. At Hedsor the second 199kw biomass boiler supplies 3 residential properties and a commercial office. The biomass boilers are powered by woodchips and, where possible, there are supplied from our woodlands as part of our ongoing woodland management process giving a local renewable source of energy.