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Reducing impact on the local environment
We were really interested to hear of a project happening in rural Herefordshire at an RSPCA Assured happy egg co. farm owned by the Orgee family. Their farm was the site for a joint venture between Noble Foods and the Wye & Usk Foundation (WUF) to install a feature on a working farm to help to slow the flow of water from the site, improve water quality and reduce flood risks.
This nature-based solution has benefited those involved: the farmers, the environment, local wildlife and has helped to improve biodiversity.
The farm, run by father and son duo, John and Joe Orgee has been RSPCA Assured for more than 10 years and has approximately 48,000 hens.
”For my dad and I, having the support and recognition from RSPCA Assured is something we’re incredibly proud of. It’s another layer of animal welfare standards we’re happy to go above and beyond for. We have been RSPCA Assured since the beginning of our poultry units back in 2016 and high welfare for our hens is something we share with Noble Foods. I also recognise that we’re a part of the local community and I’m really pleased that we’re looking at these new ways to support our environment. It’s a win-win, for us and for nature.”
- Joe Orgee
At Upper Moorend Farm in the heart of rural Herefordshire, owned by the Orgee family, a new project is underway to significantly improve how the farm interacts with the local environment.
The joint venture between Noble Foods and the Wye & Usk Foundation (WUF) has been installed as an attenuation feature on a working farm, helping to slow the flow of water from the site, improve water quality and reduce flood risks. It’s a nature-based solution seen as a win-win for all stakeholders: for farmers, for the environment, for local wildlife and for improving biodiversity.
The WUF are conserving, restoring and improving the environments and habitats of the rivers Wye and Usk, including their catchments, tributaries, watercourses and estuaries. In turn, the Foundation hopes to protect and enhance indigenous species of animal and plant life.
Improving and maintaining the quality of water in the Wye and Usk is a major part of the Foundation’s purpose. Wherever possible, their objective is to prevent pollution entering surrounding waterways. The region is home to many meat and egg producers, so it’s hoped – over time – that more nature-based solutions will be implemented by producers in the area.
Home to an RSPCA Assured happy egg co. farm, Upper Moorend was an ideal location to trial the wetland and the Orgee family was pleased to bring together teams from WUF and Noble Foods. The creation of this nature-based solution is designed to deliver several environmental benefits. The three key benefits being:
Improved water quality
Natural flood management
Improved biodiversity and habitats
Crucially, the project has created a test site for everyone to learn from and hopefully gain benefits for the wider industry and farming community.
Volunteers from the WUF and Noble Foods have planted a range of water-loving plants, known for their filtering properties and ability to retain excessive nutrients.
In mixed rows, each of the 11 connected pools have been planted with a mixture of grasses, vegetation and reeds – which will grow and bed in this summer. By next year’s growing season, the plants will have established into a typical wetland, with foliage covering the water’s surface.
Our thanks go out to all volunteers from Noble Foods and the Wye and Usk Foundation – with special thanks, especially to the Orgee family for their hard work and enthusiasm for the project.