Pictures courtesy of Savills

Springham Farm, near Hailsham in East Sussex, was acquired by the Biodynamic Land Trust in December 2020 through a generous benefactor. New tenants Springham Grove LLP have exciting plans for the future of this 229-acre holding. They aim to create an inspiring, regenerative, biodynamic farm for the mutual benefit of humans and nature that can be replicated elsewhere.

More than 200 acres of the farm is grassland, with occasional copses and a selection of ponds. It includes a farmhouse and several sizeable barns. Previously family owned, the farm has supported a number of farming activities over the past years. The River Cuckmere runs through the farm, creating wetland/water meadows. In addition, there are many trees and hedgerows with a diversity of plants and wildlife.

Springham Grove plan to invest in the farm over the coming years and in doing so will be applying the following values:

  • Rewilding and use of regenerative systems, optimising biodiversity;
  • Using natural processes wherever possible;
  • Aiming to be carbon positive and energy neutral;
  • Planning to be financially sustainable;
  • Seeking to be diverse, resilient and nurturing of creativity;
  • Embracing, reconnecting and regenerating the next generation;
  • Using biodynamic farming principles and practices.

begininings

Since taking on the tenancy, Springham Grove have wasted no time in progressing their plans. They have consulted with a number of different parties. These have included: Sussex Wildlife Trust to discuss rewilding the land; South East Water about improving water quality; and a detectorist to identify any metal objects. They also met with holistic grazing experts who inspected the soil and helped revise the grazing plan. Springham Grove are considering increasing the wetland areas and introducing more ponds to increase biodiversity. Among other developments, a group of biodynamic students were taught how to prune fruit trees and went on to prune many of the fruit trees on the farm. A permaculture plan has begun for the areas around the house.