Sandwell Valley’s Forge Mill Farm wins conservation award

Published: Wednesday, 29th November 2023

Forge Mill Farm, in Sandwell Valley Country Park, was awarded the Whitegrove Trophy by the Staffordshire Country Agricultural Society.

The trophy is awarded each year to the farm that shows the best conservation practice alongside a commercial operation within the Staffordshire and West Midlands region.

Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, Councillor Charn Singh Padda, said: “I am delighted that Forge Mill Farm has been honoured with such a prestigious award. It is a fantastic achievement to be recognised for ecological prowess while at the same time welcoming tens of thousands of visitors each year.

“The staff at Forge Mill should be very proud of themselves.”

Alex Dunn, Farm Manager at Forge Mill, added: “We are so grateful to have been recognised with this award and will continue to find ways to farm that work best for our animals, our environment and our people!

“We can’t wait to welcome more visitors, schools and groups to encounter farming and follow the seasons with us next year.”

The award recognises Forge Mill Farm’s efforts to promote better soil structure and habitat creation across Sandwell Valley County Park. By increasing the diversity of plant life throughout the park, certain species of insect, birds and small mammals have thrived – for example, the yellow wagtail.

This ecological progress is part of a wider effort to revolutionise the farm’s winter grazing methods. Over the past three years, Forge Mill has been at the forefront of this innovation, with farmers from all over the country travelling to the farm to learn about the pioneering techniques practised there.

Conservation is a key part of the educational outreach projects offered by the farm, which thousands of schoolchildren and members of community groups benefit from each year.

To learn more about Forge Mill farm, including opening times and prices.