Wild Farming in South Devon
Sarah Swadling meets sheep farmers Rebecca Hosking and Tim Green and discovers how they are using mob grazing and agro-ecology to regenerate a coastal South Devon farm.
Sarah Swadling meets sheep farmers Rebecca Hosking and Tim Green and discovers how they are using mob grazing to regenerate exhausted arable land. They are tenants on a coastal farm exposed to the elements with challenging topography. When they inherited it the soils were thin and stony - now they're using agro-ecological practices to boost its fertility and bring more wildlife back onto the farm.
They've adopted a bold way of managing the land and the livestock; the method of Holistic Planned Grazing, also nicknamed mob grazing, which mimics how wild herds feed and move. Their flock of 600 sheep graze a paddock for a day before being moved on to fresh pasture. The sheep then won't come back to that patch of land for another 4 months, giving the pasture time to recover, simultaneously creating new topsoil and organic matter. It's a method first developed by Allan Savory inspired by herds on the African savannah, and Rebecca has adapted it to work specifically for Village Farm. Sarah joins Rebecca for the daily move of sheep and hears why she gave up filming BBC wildlife documentaries with David Attenborough to return to her farming roots.
Producer: Sophie Anton.