Only minutes from the centre of Exeter and yet deep in the Devon countryside, family owned Highfield Farm has been a certified organic farm for nearly twenty five years. Part of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and latterly the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme, the farm has restored over 2kms of traditional Devon hedgerows and continues to protect wildlife and their rare habitats.
Hop on a bus or train to Topsham or pop along in the car, the farm trail is open to the public and has free car parking. Highfield has 118 acres of mixed farming, arable and vegetables and has over the past two years been working in association with Topsham School.
Close enough to walk to the farm, pupils are involved in collecting and selling vegetables to parents - the resultant funds being re-invested in the Kitchen Garden. Some items though are heavy, such as potatoes, and these needed a vehicle to transport them to the school. Highfield had already installed solar panels on the barn roof next to the Kitchen Garden, together with a biomass boiler and wind turbine, these serving as educational tools as well as generating electricity and heat. Good examples of renewable energy in one place where people can see the benefits.
So it followed that investment in a Polaris Ranger Electric 4x4 Vehicle, supplied by local dealers landrover4u, was the ideal solution to both continue the theme and provide a means to getting the potatoes transported to the school. "It was the natural choice," says family member Ian Shears, "we're very pleased with the EV, it's quiet, reliable and we've had no problems, we use it as well for checking on livestock and with all the tours we have throughout the year people see it and it gets them thinking about renewable energy.
We recharge the Polaris from the solar panels, which in itself is a good educational tool." Highfield Farm also offers camping and caravanning, while school visits can be tailored to requirements with educational opportunities including study of wildlife habitats including hedgerows, permanent pasture, grazing marshes, pond dipping and of course, sustainability. Highfield Farm www.highfieldfarm.org 01392 876388 Polaris Britain 0800 915 6720