Richard is an arable farmer at Manor Farm, Kelfield, situated to the south of York and is a member of the National Farmers Union (NFU)
The farm grows a wide variety of crops, including; milling wheat, malting barley (winter and spring), oilseed rape, sugar beet, potatoes, peas, beans, industrial hemp, fibre flax and linseed. Situated alongside the River Ouse the farm sees an increasing amount of flooding problems.
A key component of the farming system is ‘integrated crop management’ and environmental management, with 7% of the farmed area under stewardship and further 25% of various cover crops in the ground from August through to March. This combined with other voluntary measures, like hedgerow and tree planting, has seen since 2005 a marked increase in the bio-diversity of the farm, without impacting on the quality and productive output of the predominately grade 1 and 2 soils- something which Richard is a keen advocate of and he has received an number of awards in recognition of this work, including the 2014 Tye Trophy.
Richard is active in the wider industry holding a number of posts. He is vice-chair of the North East Regional Crops Board and the North East representative on the NFU National Environment Forum, as well as a Branch Chairman. He also Chairs the East Yorks Campaign for the Farmed Environment and is a grower representative on Assured Food Standards Crops and Sugar Board.
Alongside these industry roles, Richard acts as a farming and environment advisor on fibre production for a Leeds based manufacturer of beds and upholstery, Harrison Spinks. He also runs, with his wife Brigita, a multi-award winning ecologically focused self-catering holiday lets on the farm in converted 17th century barns: The Dovecote Barns, York.
Richard has a degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Nottingham, is a Member of the BASIS and FACTS professional register, a Member of the Institute of Agricultural Management and a Chartered Environmentalist.