On Thursday 10th September Lower Park Farm in Rossett hosted a farm visit for Wrexham’s MP, Sarah Atherton, and the Minister for International Trade, Ranil Jayawardena MP, to demonstrate their renewable approach to farming.
The visit was hosted by Richard and Sadie Tomlinson, the owners of Lower Park Farm, whose 1,400-acre organic dairyfarm in Rossett produces renewable energy through the process of anaerobic digestion to satisfy the farm’s energy needs.
The anaerobic digestion process provides the perfect environment for the micro-organisms, which naturally occur in animal slurry, to convert energy into methane gas. The gas is captured and stored prior to being burnt through a biogas engine to produce electricity and heat. The material left over after the digestion process is termed ‘digestate’. This can be separated into liquid and solid forms, both of which are valuable nutrient-rich natural fertilisers.
As part of their visit to Lower Park Farm Mr Jayawardena and Ms Atherton also toured the dairy farm to learn about the production of their own cattle feed and discussed the workthey do with Calon Wen producing and exporting organic dairy products.
During the visit, the MPs spoke to the Tomlinson’s sons,George and William, who have both recently graduated from University with agricultural degrees and have returned to the family business.
Speaking after the visit, Sarah Atherton MP said:
“I was very pleased to visit Lower Park Farm in Rossett, with the Minister for International Trade to showcase this fantastic family-run farm, and to take a look at how they’re harnessing the power of organic waste.
“I was particularly impressed to hear about the production of their own cattle feed and bedding using the waste from the Anaerobic digestion process, in doing so cutting down the costs of upkeep.”
Ranil Jayawardena, Minister for International Trade said:
“I was delighted to visit Lower Park Farm today, to see their success first hand, and learn even more about sustainable, environmentally friendly and organic farming, which will provide great new overseas opportunities for Welsh farmers.
“Future trade agreements with the US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand will help reduce costs and cut red tape on agricultural exports, allowing farms across Britain, like Lower Park Farm, to continue to produce and export their high quality goods.”
Owner of Lower Park Farm, Richard Tomlinson added:
“Diversification into renewable energy has provided a much needed alternative income to the farming business, as margins continue to be squeezed in all sectors of agriculture.
“I take great pride in the work we have done here, establishing a sustainable, environmentally friendly and economically attractive alternative to our reliance on fossil fuel resources.
“I was pleased to be able to welcome both our local MP and the Minister for International Trade to the farm today, to highlight how the Anaerobic Digestion progress has allowed us to harness the power of organic waste produced on the farm, in order to generate clean, green renewable energy using a sustainable financial model.”