The Bradford Estates – which covers 4,800ha across Shropshire and Staffordshire – has appointed a full-time farm manager for the first time since 1982.
Oliver Scott joins the estate from Thelveton Estates in Norfolk. He will be responsible for creating and implementing a new strategy for the estate’s 1,440ha of farmland which is being brought back in hand.
Mr Scott’s remit includes the adoption of new farming practices. It is part of a 100-year regeneration vision which estate managing director Alexander Newport says will leave a legacy for generations.
It includes cover crops, introducing grazing animals, direct drilling to reduce CO2 emissions and ensuring habitats are created for natural insect predators and a reduction in chemical pesticides.
“Appointing a farm manager is an incredibly exciting step forward for us,” says Mr Newport. “Our farmland is a huge asset to us and a really important part of our future plans. Oliver joining us will help bring all our ideas and visions together.”
Since returning to Shropshire from London to run the estates just over 12 months ago, Mr Newport has more than doubled staff numbers as he paves the way for a complete overhaul of the farming business.
Mr Scott says: “It’s a really exciting time to be joining the Estates team. It’s very rare to start a job and not inherit someone’s work. Normally you’d be taking on workers, machinery and processes but starting at Bradford Estates, it’s all completely new.
“It will be challenging but starting from the very beginning will enable us to do things the way we want to without dealing with processes that are in place because they always have been. It’s an honour really to be in a unique position like this.”