The National Trust has announced that a 250 acre conventional farm is set to become part of the MyFarm* experiment which aims to reconnect people with where their food comes from.
The farmland will form a key part of MyFarm project which enables members to make decisions on what happens on the farm.
The arable land at Cambridge Road Farm is next to the 1,200 acre Wimpole Home Farm which is at the centre of the MyFarm project in Cambridgeshire.
Owned by the Trust, Cambridge Road Farm has always been farmed conventionally by a tenant, who has now retired.
Its inclusion in the project means that participants will be able to get closer to both conventional and organic farming methods.
Richard Morris, Farm Manager at Wimpole, said: "This is an exciting development for the project as we can now explore the differences between organic and conventional farming methods rather than simply talking about them.
"With only four per cent** of farmland in the UK farmed organically we felt it was important to demonstrate the different benefits and challenges presented by each method.
"We'll be asking the MyFarm members to make decisions on the conventionally farmed land in addition to the 1,200 acres of organic farmland at Wimpole.
"We hope to make the differences and reasoning for both farming methods clearer and easier to digest. Whatever scenario the MyFarmers are presented with, we will be relying on them to make sure their decisions lead to both farms being profitable businesses."
Paul Hammett, Senior Policy Advisor at the National Farmers Union, said: "The MyFarm community will now have a fantastic opportunity to run the farms in parallel and learn about the advantages and disadvantages of both farming methods. It will be really interesting to see how their views and attitudes change, if at all, over the coming months."
For more information and to sign up to join the MyFarm experiment visit www.my-farm.org.uk.
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*The MyFarm experiment launched on 4 May 2011. Based at the National Trust's own working farm, Wimpole Home Farm in Cambridgeshire, Farm Manager Richard Morris sets regular decisions to subscribers who then debate and vote on topics to include crops, livestock and wider impacts.
Majority rules and Richard then carries out the majority decision on the farm.
The MyFarm website include video updates, webcams, live webchats, debates and comment and opinion from both well known farming experts and National Trust tenant farmers. Information can also be found on how to obtain a MyFarm subscription as a Christmas gift.
**Figure from www.defra.gov.uk/statistics/files/defra-stats-foodfarm-envir...
About The National Trust:
The National Trust cares for 300 inspiring historic houses, gardens and winter gardens across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. From former workers' cottages to the most iconic stately homes, and from mines and mills to theatres and inns, the stories of people and their heritage are at the heart of everything it does. People of all ages, individuals, schools and communities get involved each year with its projects, events and working holidays and over 62,000 volunteers help to bring the properties alive for the Trust's 4 million members, who enjoy family days out at locations throughout the country. Find out more at: www.nationaltrust.org.uk.
The National Trust
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