LOCAL farmers are being asked to help ensure our countryside is retained in all its natural glory.

A special farm in Herefordshire is educating youngsters about the benefits of wildlife-friendly farming and high quality produce.

And the Three Counties Farmer Awards can help spread the message and safeguard our rural landscape.

The Countryside Restoration Trust sponsor the Conservation Award and are urging farmers to enter.

“The CRT are honoured to be part of the TCA again this year and to award likeminded farmers for their outstanding contribution to Farm Conservation,” said a spokesman.

The Trust runs an education programme, MOSAIC, that teaches children, first-hand, the principles of wildlife-friendly farming.

This includes an education centre on Turnastone Court Farm local to Hereford.

“Lockdown has proven that there is a fundamental desire to experience nature for any age group,” said Gerry Turner, the CRT’s Education Manager.

“We want to give children the opportunity to inspire that love and understanding of wildlife and show how it can be applied to create great quality produce

“Turnastone is a 247-acre farm, home to a variety of flora and fauna, with 90 acres of grassland, and 500 metres of hedgerows full of food for birds and mammals, all of which we can explain to the visiting children through fun activities.”

The CRT would love to hear about any conservation projects people have undertaken during the lockdown – even if you’re not a farmer. To find out more, get in touch or Become a CRT Friend, visit: www.countrysiderestorationtrust.com.

To nominate someone for an award – there are 13 altogether – go to www.herefordtimes.com/awards/tcf/ and fill out the nomination form. It’s quick and easy.

Closing date for entries is September 18, so don’t delay.

Categories are: Sheep Farmer; Farm Conservation; Cattle Farmer; Family Run Farm; Pig Farmer; Poultry Farmer; Young Farmer (under 26); Arable Farmer; Farming Contractor; Fruit/hop farmer; Farming Hero; Outstanding Achievement.

The awards ceremony will take the format of a live broadcast this year– because of coronavirus – with a star studded line up of celebrities.