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11-12 June 2024

Bygrave Woods

Newnham Farm

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Martin Lines

Martin Lines

Farmer, Papley Grove Farm, St Neots, Cambridgeshire

Martin is a third-generation farmer and contractor growing mainly arable crops on the family farm and rented land. The farm is just over 400 acres with rented land and contract farm agreements bringing the farm area up to 1334 acres.

Papley Grove Farm mainly does combinable cropping growing commodity crops of winter wheat, winter and spring barley, winter beans and oil seed rape (OSR). They always try and find a human food home for the products or, as with beans, they go to an animal feed home to replace imported feed.

Martin is the Chair of the Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN) and has a particular interest in farm conservation management. Martin and team have just finished an ELS / HLS agreement on the home farm. For the last 10 years, Papley Grove Farm has been in stewardship schemes to try to improve the natural habitat for wildlife on the farm. They replaced many hedges around the fields which had been removed, improved the few that were remaining and planted new ones. They also established grass strips alongside hedges and ditches and on our field boundaries. Over this time, they saw a significant increase in both flora and fauna on the farm. RSPB volunteers undertook several surveys which identified a wide range of species, including birds of high conservation concern such as turtle doves, yellow wagtails and corn buntings.

Papley Grove Farm has been planting areas of wild bird seed mixes and creating wildflower areas and flower enhanced boundary strips, as well as leaving an area of fallow land as a food and nesting source.



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