AN AMBITIOUS pair of Meon Valley farmers have unveiled a green plan to make their family business the most “productive regenerative farm in the UK”.

Jamie and Will Butler are using innovative techniques on their East Meon farm to reduce reliance on fossil fuels

They have introduced a variety of regenerative farming measures at the Whitewool Farm and Meon Springs site that will allow them to grow food and enhance the environment.

Their regenerative farming measures include changing the way they fertilise the farm, planting hedgerows and putting helpful bacteria in their slurry.

The 1,200 acre mixed dairy and arable farm is home to a 400-strong dairy cow herd with the land growing forage crops to feed them and arable crops such as wheat and barley.

The farm has always maintained good yields and high output but with climate change concerns growing, Jamie and Will have turned their attention towards a more sustainable and regenerative approach.

Their plan – which has impressed the National Farmer’s Union – involves measures to improve soil health, reducing the need for crop protection products and significantly improving biodiversity.

Will said: “We want to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and in the world of farming, the big ones for us are the use of fuel and fertiliser.

“Reducing our use of fuel and fertiliser and maintaining nutrients within the farming cycle are key things we do in terms of climate change reductions and reducing carbon emissions.

“We want to keep nitrogen going back into the crop rather than going anywhere near our waterways.”

In winter, Jamie and Will cover bare land with crops to protect their soil and they have also planted hedgerows and put in wetlands as a way of increasing biodiversity.

Jamie said: “Anything that improves the biodiversity on the farm is good from a farming point of view because it reduces the need for crop protection products – and it’s also good for nature as well.”