EVIDENCE shows that four farms on the Duchy of Cornwall Estate are net zero - and two of these are in the South West. 

Huccaby Farm on Dartmoor and West End Farm in Somerset are net zero, according to research between 2021 and 2023, where the Duchy commussion baseline farm carbon budgets for all equipped farms. 

The news comes as the Duchy of Cornwall reveals how it is supporting farming tenants and land managers to achieve net zero by the early 2030s. Under the guidance of HRH Prince William, Duke of Cornwall, the Duchy has now increased the available support for tenants to target emission reduction on farms.

The support package includes: 

  • Assistance to accurately input farm data to measure farm emissions as part of whole farm plans
  • Access to farmer-led training, farm walks and workshops
  • Investment in farm infrastructure and machinery that supports low carbon farming practices
  • Provision of independent advice from industry experts

South West Farmer: Four farms on the Duchy Estate are net zero.

The Duchy's 2022 Net Zero Carbon report highlighted that farming contributes to 62% of the estate's total carbon footprint. 

Huccaby is an upland farm where there is extensive low input sheep, cattle and pony grazing, run by David and Shirley Mudge. To further reduce their emissions, the pair are looking to eliminate soya from livestock feed, encourage natural regeneration of wood pasture in steep valley sides and invest in new hedgerow planting.

David & Shirley Mudge, tenant farmers at Huccaby Farm, said: Having completed our baseline carbon footprint for the farm with the Duchy, it highlighted areas where we could improve carbon sequestration and make some changes to the business to further reduce farm costs and emissions.”

The Duchy of Cornwall is planning to work with tennant farmers to demonstrate how actions to reduce emmisions can also benefit financial margins, with whole farm planning essential to ensure farm profitability and net zero ambitions work together.

The Duchy's estate covers 52,449 hectares of land across 20 counties, mostly in the South West of England.

West End Farm in Somerset grows perennial crops producing blackcurrants on a long 12-year rotation. Run by Derek and Tanya Morris, the pair are looking to make further improvements by reducing ploughing, using precision technology to apply fertiliser only where needed, reducing cutting of hedgerows and providing habitat on farm sowing wild bird and nectar mixes.

"The Duchy has an ambitious goal of net zero by the early 2030s, which we cannot achieve without collaboration," said Heather Webb, head of future farming at The Duchy of Cornwall.

"Our tenants have made huge pro-active steps to reduce emissions from their farming activities and the Duchy will continue to work hard to support them in making the changes needed to benefit their farm businesses and transition towards net zero farming.”

To continue to encourage and support tenant farmers to reduce emissions to achieve net zero, the Duchy of Cornwall has partnered with The Farm Carbon Toolkit since 2019, a community interest company, run by farmers for farmers.

The Duchy of Cornwall also has a dedicated Future Farming team that works in collaboration with farming tenants to help navigate the agricultural transition and encourage viable rural business to manage land sustainably, providing integrated outcomes for food, nature, climate and communities.