What is your role at Daylesford?
As an Environmental Surveyor, I take care of all things to do with sustainability across Daylesford Organic, the farms and the estates. I also look after the Daylesford Foundation charity and am on the board for their headline project, Agricology.
When did you first become interested in working with nature and the environment?
Tadpoles and caterpillars were my hook into wildlife, which rapidly evolved into digging my own ponds and having my own gardening space. A fascination with creepy crawlies turned into a love for fishing, shooting and foraging, knowing that there is no greater source of sustainable nutrition than wild food harvested from a balanced local population. This teed me up for a degree in environmental and behavioural biology and more recently, a postgraduate diploma in surveying.
What are you most proud of when it comes to your work at Daylesford?
Daylesford is an incredibly diverse operation and is the sum of a great number of parts – from field to plate. Whilst we can be incredibly proud of what Carole Bamford has achieved with her team at Daylesford, I take my greatest pride from working with her on Agricology. Agricology is the product of a wide range of examples and research in practical, sustainable farming – regardless of labels. It is the collaboration of farmers and organisations that will enable the change we need to produce food within our environmental, social and economic limits; working with Carole and these partners makes me proudest.
What’s the main challenge you face in your role?
Because we have such depth and diversity in the supply chain, I need to keep an eye on sustainability throughout the many cogs in the process, from transport to packaging, suppliers to water usage. We look to share and encourage others with our sustainability story which means we must keep the rest of our house in order. It is helped by having team members across the businesses that are inherently driven to be more sustainable.
What makes you so passionate about organic farming and sustainability?
My underlying passion is for excellent food and wildlife conservation. By default, that led me to organic farming and artisanal food production. Even some of the more engineering focused sustainability projects – like the biomass boiler – can ultimately get us improving our on-farm conservation efforts with woodland management.
What long term goal are you trying to achieve at Daylesford with your research?
We set up Agricology to bring together the best examples of sustainable farming under one roof: On the Agricology website and through social media. We are rapidly building a strong following of farmers and growers looking to improve their systems. Whilst we are excited to see more farmers adopt the various techniques that we profile, it is our long term goal that the Agricology audience innovate, research and share their own methods of sustainable farming. Sustainable farming is knowledge intensive thus the more minds exploring it, the better.
Photographer: James McNaught Styling: Sophie Warburton Hair and make up: Claire Portman