The finalists of a new award, celebrating on-farm environmental, societal and financial sustainability activities, have been announced.
The finalists of a new award, celebrating on-farm environmental, societal and financial sustainability
activities, have been announced.
Colin Chappell from Gander Farm in North Lincolnshire, and Guy Prudom of Northfields Farm in
North Yorkshire were unanimously selected by the judges, following an open application process.
Colin and his family farm on the banks of the river Ancholme where they own 400ha of predominantly
arable clay land, with some permanent pasture. They contract farm a further 160ha of sandy soil,
120ha on a tenancy agreement, 80ha for a neighbour and has recently taken on a further 60ha of
The mid-tier environmental scheme includes wildflower strips such as the one found alongside his
seed barley crop. He believes this approach gives a home for all the “mini-beasts”, insects, birds and
wildlife, as well as allowing him to commercially farm, delivering a profit to the bottom line.
Colin’s focus for the last two years has been nitrogen and reducing inputs, using pulses and OSR in
the rotation to help maintain natural levels within the soil. He is continuously monitoring his soil and
carbon, and reviews each field on an individual basis. He is also a keen advocate for the Bentazone
Stewardship campaign and works with the local water company to monitor levels and ensure he is
not applying the herbicide in a high-risk zone.
When asked what sustainability means to him, Colin said “Sustainability means farming within my
own means so that I can make a living for my family, whilst also looking after the environment and
the water that surrounds me.”
Guy Prudom farms in partnership with his parents, renting just over 400ha, predominantly from the
Mulgrave Estate. The main enterprise is a lowland arable unit where they also finish suckler cattle.
Within their arable rotation, they grow 90ha of OSR and winter wheat as cash crops, with the
remaining 70ha consisting of spring oats, winter and spring barley, and spring beans which are fed
to the finishing cattle.
All crops are established by strip-till, and autumn sown cover crops are established in front of spring
sown crops with a strong focus on mustards.
They believe in trials, and experiment regularly with different crops and varieties to ensure they are
growing the best option for the soil and their profit margin. This year they are growing a field of spring
beans and peas in a mix together, as well as a mixture of spring barley and oats.
Other trials include five years of precision soil testing, and two years of organic matter and calcium.
Their additional two units, High Burrows and Davison Farm, are both upland permanent pasture
where they run a paddock grazing system, to help maximise grass use and minimise fertiliser
Commenting on why he entered the award, Guy said “It adds justification and gives us confidence
that what we are doing here, is right. We have got through to the final and that has shown the whole
team, from my parents to the contractors, agronomist, vets and consultants, that we are on the right
track to a sustainable system. It’s not just for my personal gain, it is for everyone involved.”
Both Colin and Guy have a strong commitment to social sustainability and have participated in AHDB
Monitor Farm programmes sharing their experience with their peers whilst also welcoming feedback,
and implementing systems to improve their businesses. They look closely at benchmarking and
utilise data to support their decision-making, as well as investing in the next generation, welcoming
school groups, and local clubs to their farm.
To select the winner, the judges visited Guy and Colin to see their sustainability activity in action and
learn more about their future plans. Commenting on the finalists, BASF Agricultural Sustainability
Manager, Mike Green said,
“Colin and Guy demonstrate a long-term commitment to sustainability, looking at a whole farm
approach. They are continuously assessing and reviewing their practices and invest time in trials and
data, so they have a clear understanding of what works best for their landscape.
“All the judges were impressed by their passion for the environment, whilst also demonstrating a
focus on financial stability and the willingness to adapt their operations to meet the changing needs
of the industry.
“I am delighted that in our first year we have two incredibly strong candidates, and look forward to
welcoming them to our awards celebration in July.”
The Rawcliffe Bridge Award is organised by BASF, in partnership with Farm 491 and the Institute
of Ag Management. It was launched to coincide with BASF’s biodiversity and advocacy work with
the Hinchliffe family at Rawcliffe Bridge, which this year marks 20 years.
The winner will receive a bespoke ceremonial plate at BASF’s 20th Anniversary celebrations, a free
ticket to the Institute of Ag Management’s annual conference, and access to the expert network run