A Cumbrian farmer is celebrating scooping a highly-coveted farming and conservation award.

James Robinson from Kendal has been recognised for going the extra mile to promote habitat and environmental management on his farm.

Mr Robinson was awarded the highly-coveted ‘Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group National Silver Lapwing Award’, which is now in its 43rd year.

Strickley Farm in Kendal, Cumbria, was awarded from a national shortlist of five farms, each selected for demonstrating outstanding commitment to good environmental practices, alongside running successful farm businesses.

"Being awarded the Silver Lapwing Trophy is a real honour for myself and my family. It all started with my great grandad, when he took over the farm at Strickley, and then my dad and grandad in the 80’s who foresaw the future of farming. They rejuvenated hedges, and we have just grown from there. We are making changes now for future generations. This is one of the proudest days of my life," said Mr Robinson.

After a two-year halt, organisers were thrilled to be able to hold the celebrations this year, which took place last week at Hole Farm in Norfolk.

The 2022 FWAG Silver Lapwing Award was presented to Mr Robinson by Silver Lapwing Judges Martin Hole, Farmer and representatives from Kings Crops: Jim Egan, Midlands Technical Advisor and Richard Barnes, Sales Manager. Kings Crops is the specialist crops and environmental land management team at Frontier Agriculture, the award’s lead sponsor.

Strickley Farm is made up of 300 acres of organic land, 250 pedigree dairy shorthorns, meadows filled with over a hundred different species of flowers, grasses and herbs and becks homing many species including the threatened white clawed crayfish.

The farm is run by James alongside his father Henry and son Robert and hosts local school visits for children and other community engagement.

The judges commented that the competition was incredibly high this year and for only the second time in Silver Lapwing history, the judges awarded two equal runners-up; Robert and Lynne Jackson, Manor Farm, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and Matt Doggett, Manor Farm, Barley, Royston.

Martin Hole, Farmer and Silver Lapwing Judge said: "Over the last decade this award has been given to some great conservationist farmers, and the environmental achievements of all the finalists has continued to rise. This year thus was one of the best, with James Robinson a champion as complete as any of his predecessors, his family farm humming with life surmounted by one of the finest dairy herds I have ever seen. And the award will act too to underscore his tireless advocacy of nature rich farming.

Chris Butler, Chair of the FWAG Association welcomed guests, before host Charles Inglis, farmer at Hole Farm who was awarded the Silver Lapwing in 2019, highlighted the extensive restorative work they have undertaken alongside parents-in-law Robin and Rose Carver, who originally bought the 668 acre Norfolk prairie farm in 1982.

The farm has been planted with nine miles of hedgerows, 60 acres of new woodland, 14 ponds and scraps and 56 acres of environmental margins.

Around 80 invited guests from all sectors of the British farming and agriculture industry attended the celebrations. The day concluded in a farm walk and tour of Hole Farm, showcasing some of the reasons why Charles and Airlie Inglis were presented with the Silver Lapwing Award in 2019.