Since 1994 the Estate has been in a Higher Level Stewardship Scheme with Natural England through which it actively manages extensive habitat for wildlife, flora, fauna and bio-diversity. As part of this scheme, the Estate has set aside the following from agricultural production: 400 acres of grassland, 110 miles of conservation margins, over 80 miles of hedgerow maintenance and coppicing, 100 acres of wild bird cover and widespread pond restoration. We have also established 120 acres surrounding our existing water networks (including the River Glaven) as a protected natural resource area. The Estate has installed and continues to manage numerous successful owl boxes.
Our commitment to conservation has resulted in us recording over 100 wild bird species including many on Natural England’s endangered list e.g. kestrels, turtle doves, sky larks, wood larks, lapwings, english partridges, tree sparrows and yellow hammers.
Alongside our partnership with Natural England, we have established long and close working relationships with the Environment Agency, the River Glaven Conservation Group, the Farming & Wildlife Group, the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, the Norfolk Rivers Trust and the Hawk & Owl Trust.
Stody Estate has been regional winners of the National Farmers Union Biodiversity Award (2001) and the Natural England Future of Farming Award (2008) and runner-up for the National Award in both categories. In 2008, the Norfolk Farm Conservation Award was renamed after Mr Ian MacNicol in recognition of his and the Estate’s environmental work. Most recently in 2012, Mr Ross Haddow, then Estate Manager, was presented with the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association’s Prize for the individual who has made an outstanding contribution towards promoting the interests and understanding of food, farming and the countryside.