Grandfather and grandson steward land for future generations
When Will Brown takes over Circle H Farms from his grandfather, John Hayden, he will be the sixth generation to farm in Cherry Valley. With that future in mind, stewarding this land is of paramount importance.
“Wildlife habitat and water quality should be two key priorities, not just for Circle H, but for the agricultural industry and society at large,” said Brown. “As farmers, we are better positioned than any other occupation to positively influence the environment.”
As growers of cereals and oilseeds on 1,400 acres, Circle H Farms has been an ALUS participant since 2009. Some of their ALUS projects are soil-conservation structures, such as farmable berms and grassed waterways. With support from ALUS, they also retired 3.5 acres of steeply sloped fields from cultivation.
There is now serve a buffer zone between the farm’s cropped fields and its wetlands, that includes the impressive Orwell Bay. The bay fronts more than 600 feet of their land and flows into the Northumberland Strait. A second buffer zone protects a small freshwater spring that runs along the edge.
The goal of ALUS projects is to reduce soil erosion and help protect water quality in PEI. With the entire area naturally regenerating back to forest, this ALUS project provided for outstanding wildlife habitat as well.
“As a hunter, I know how important it is to conserve wild areas, especially those areas near streams and wetlands,” said Hayden. "I really like ALUS because it helps expand wildlife corridors and that is important in a landscape as developed as ours.
"Whenever I visit my ALUS projects, I am in awe of how extensively they are used by wildlife,” he added.
In recognition of their outstanding contributions to the protection and enhancement of the natural environment, the Piscquid River Enhancement Committee presented Circle H Farm with an environmental stewardship award in 2012.