Our Commitment to Sustainability

We’re a lucky family. We’ve farmed our patch of land here near Wincanton, Somerset since 1899 and can trace our farming ancestry even further back than that.

But we’re also aware that with such luck and privilege comes a great responsibility. A responsibility to the land that feeds us, to the flora and fauna that are essential to the ecosystem and a responsibility to the generations that will follow.

With that said, we take great pride in always striving to improve our eco credentials and be responsible with the gifts that surround us and thought we’d take a moment to let you know some of the ways in which we do our bit for this planet we call home.

It Starts with Renewable Energy

Back in 2016, we installed an anaerobic digester at the farm. A fantastic piece of kit, temperamental at times, but nonetheless a real trooper when it comes to improving our carbon footprint and making us a sustainable and future-looking business.

Renewable Energy at Keen's Cheddar To keep things brief, we feed the anaerobic digester a delicious serving of dairy washings and slurry from the cows, and in return it kindly extracts the methane and produces nearly the equivalent to 100 family’s electricity requirements.

And, as a bonus, it also conditions the slurry that lands in our lagoon, which means that when it’s time for us to spread it over the fields (sorry neighbours) it is more easily absorbed by the crops reducing our need for inorganic fertilisers.

Also, wherever there is a south facing roof at Moorhayes farm you’ll find 375 solar panels sitting peacefully, quietly absorbing the glorious rays of sunshine that bless our little Somerset valley.

Combined they produce more electric than we require on the farm. Again, reducing our need to draw on the already overwhelmed national grid.

We Love the Birds and The Bees

The Keen family are not the only species to reside at Moorhayes. We share our home with billions of bugs and insects and rodents and birds and snakes (yes snakes) and we know that each and every one of them (yes, even the snakes) have a right to not only live, but also to thrive in these fields.

Because of this we keep a generous 3 metre ‘wild’ margin around each of our arable fields, totalling 14 acres of wildlife corridors. This allows wildflowers and grasses to bloom and blossom, and only cut them back once a year for regeneration.

We’re Tree Huggers

It’s no secret that the UKs native woodlands are struggling. Not ours though!

We love our woodlands and copses, (and our ponds, but I’ll come to that in a minute), and have 12 acres dotted across the farm.

We recognise that woodlands not only play an important role in helping to tackle climate changeprotecting wildlife at keens cheddar but they also provide shelter, safety, and places to breed for the local wildlife.

Let’s be honest. Who doesn’t love seeing a baby fawn emerge from the woods to play with its parents for the first time?

And need we mention the glorious bluebell blankets that grace the woodland floors in spring?

Wetland Wildlife is Important too

We have four thriving ponds on the farm. Ponds are critical to wetland wildlife and a healthy network of ponds are home to all manner of amphibians and invertebrates. Healthy ponds attract birds and feed bats. They provide drinking water to wildlife and they’re a wonder to picnic beside. British weather allowing of course.

And we keep disruption to the minimum

Looking after the planet at Keen's cheddarWe only do what cultivating is necessary by using minimal tillage and using direct drilling methods to sow seeds into the ground. Reducing fuel use and less disruption to the soil structures

Finally, please forgive us if our hedges sometimes look a little wild. There is good reason. We only trim our hedges once every two years which allows the flora and fauna that live there to thrive.