As one of the UK's leading fresh and frozen fruit growers, A.J & C.I Snell take our environmental responsibilities and positive Public Relations very seriously. We're continually focussed on making sure that environmental awareness remains at the forefront of our working practices, often leading the way in a number of research initiatives. As responsible growers, we have been awarded Grade A's in audits all round.
The new PV system on the packhouse at Windmill Hill are extremely environmentally friendly with the silicon modules producing no noise pollution or harmful gasses during operation, what’s more the silicon itself is entirely benign and available in abundance.
Back in 2007, the farm undertook a pioneering trial of a number of different Polytunnel cover colours. Often a contentious subject, we sought the best solution to this issue by evaluating their properties, in order to find a product that would look the most in-keeping with its surroundings. The use of green polythene as a field scale trial on a high profile site had positive feedback from both the Press and local community at large.
We've also undertaken a detailed RSPB bird survey. The results were extremely encouraging with over 49 species recorded - well above the national average, not to mention one of the highest in the county. The birds that kindly dropped by for a visit included three species of Raptor, Skylark, Little Grebe, Great Spotted Woodpecker and both Little and Tawny Owls.
In June each year the farm opens its gates to the public, who are shown around as part of LEAF Farm Open Day. Money is raised during the day for the parish church and local charities. In addition, June 2010 saw the farm host a Ribena open day where families joined in glorious June sunshine to learn about the British Blackcurrant. Throughout the season it is also common for organisations and groups to visit, these include the WI and school groups.
Anthony and Christine also host each Autumn the local harvest super at Windmill Hill to gather the local community and raise money for the parish church through a produce auction, which in 2011 raised an impressive £600.