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Group shot for Park Farm accreditation

Sustainable farming charity LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) has welcomed Cambridge University’s Park Farm as its latest Demonstration Farm, in recognition of its commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of its dairy enterprise.

With a dairy unit of 230 milking cows producing two million litres of milk per year, raising replacement heifers and a flock of 250 North Country mule sheep, the Farm provides a crucial learning environment and teaching resource to the University’s Department of Veterinary Medicine. It is a meeting point for sustainable farming innovation, research, and application.

Minimising the carbon footprint of the dairy enterprise has been a key priority for Farm Manager Paul Kelly and Rural Surveyor Peter Wilderspin, and an array of carbon-reducing measures have been used, including solar panels, LED lighting and the installation of an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant.

The AD plant uses slurry to generate electricity and digestate to fertilise the crops grown on the farm, many of which are used to feed the animals in an elegant circular system. During the evening when there is an over-supply of electricity, an electric buggy is charged to store the excess. The buggy, which has replaced a petrol vehicle, is used to inspect the sheep flock.

Due to these measures the Farm has managed to reduce the carbon footprint of milk production by 21% in the last three years and is committed to reducing the CO2e per litre of milk produced by 30% by 2030.

With access to pioneering research and innovative technology such as robotic milkers, carbon calculators and telematics, the Farm uses Integrated Farm Management across the entire operation to optimise efficiency.

Speaking at the launch, Director of Estates Graham Matthews said:

“We are delighted to be joining the LEAF Network at such a significant time. As the farming industry continues to face unprecedented challenges, It is vital that we focus our attention on climate change solutions while maintaining high animal welfare standards.

“Even the smallest of changes can make a difference. From implementing green energy methodology to habitat creation and regenerative soil practices, the team at Park Farm continues to embrace innovation and lead the way for climate-positive farming practices.”


Clare Mike, LEAF Director, Technical and Business Development added:

“Park Farm is making impressive changes and commitments to meeting important climate change targets. They are an exemplar of best farming practice, showing what can be achieved through a multi-faceted and integrated approach to sustainability.

“On behalf of LEAF, it is an absolute honour to welcome them to the LEAF Network. Their forward-thinking, cutting-edge, and data-driven farming approaches through Integrated Farm Management will continue to shape the future of their dairy enterprise for the greater good.”

“Being part of the LEAF Network will enable Park Farm to communicate and collaborate with other farmers and the wider industry, driving forward net zero goals and a more sustainable farming future.”