Tye Trophy Winners 2023

The Tye Trophy Competition will take place again in 2024 – see below for details of the competition held in 2023.

The Tye Trophy highlights some of the best farms in the North of England and recognises the contribution of farmers to conservation and environmental improvement.

The overall winner of the Tye Trophy competition is also entered into the national Silver Lapwing Award the following year.

How it works

Three farms are nominated from seven areas of the North of England before the end of March. Areas are Cumbria, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, East Yorkshire, South and West Yorkshire, Tyne Tees and Northumberland.

A judging panel of three farmers will visit each farm in early May and a winner for each county is selected. These seven winners are then judged by a regional panel in early June.

Judging is based on the integration of wildlife conservation and environmental improvement within their commercial farming operation.

John Fenton, Lead Regional Judge of the Tye Trophy said:

Every year I am always struck by just how much conservation work is being carried out in the countryside, much of it unfunded, by farmers and is not seen or understood by the general public.

That is why this competition is so important, it is a chance to champion the best in farming. For example, one the highlights of this year’s competition have been the number of wading birds we have seen, particularly curlew, oyster catchers and lapwing.

The award ceremony takes place outside the President’s Pavilion on Wednesday of the Great Yorkshire Show, where the overall winner will be announced and will receive the Edwardian shell trophy that was originally donated by Mrs Alison Saville in memory of the Tye family.

For more information contact Helen Slater by calling 01423 541000 or email helens@yas.co.uk

Our 2023 winners

Croasdale House Farm – Overall Winner & Lancashire Area Winner

Malcolm and Marty Handley have farmed at Slaidburn in Lancashire for 35 years and have a very positive outlook on the future of farming.

They run beef cattle and sheep, with the cattle grazing moorland for part of the year.

Their tenanted farm has grassed meadows featuring a good variety of wildflowers including orchids, new hedgerows and a tree nursery, and the landscape provides a good environment for oyster catchers, lapwing and curlew.

Malcolm and Marty produce boxed beef for sale from their beef enterprise and they enjoy playing a big role in education: students attend twice a week for two years to achieve BTEC qualifications.

King’s Meaburn – Cumbria Area Winner

Run by the Addison family, this traditional mixed farm comprises of beef and dairy with some arable, producing organic produce.

They also operate holiday cottages and a pub and caravan park.

The Addisons have a long tradition of conservation measures on the farm, having planted woodland, some of which is grazed, and they work with Eden Rivers Trust to create rapids and scrap habitats.

Timber from the farm is used to heat water in the dairy.

Stonehills Farm – East Yorkshire Area Winner

Geoff and Jan Riby, who have been showing at the Great Yorkshire Show for 50 years, operate their mixed tenanted farm with arable, cattle and sheep.

Part of the farm is organic, and a mixture of old and new hedges connect woodland on the farm.

Wildlife is supported by the use of wild bird mixes, buffer strips adjacent to watercourses, ponds and scrapes, a legume and flower meadow, bird and barn owl boxes, and woodland planting.

Hunting Hall – Northumberland Area Winner

Tom and Karen Burn’s journey of work at Hunting Hall has been carried out over the past 40 years.

Their farming consists of cattle and sheep, with arable land currently let out. Some of the land is undergoing conversion into organic cropping.

They have two holiday cottages and a shepherd’s hut that is eco-friendly: serviced by air source heat pumps, solar panels and rainwater harvesting.

A new woodland has been planted, as well as hedgerows and they have a community orchard.

Scrapes and ponds have been created to support biodiversity and there is a bird hide for observing winged visitors.

Other environmental features are grass margins around fields, wild bird seed areas and the use of pollinator flower mixes.

Hunting Hall has a dedicated farm trail and hosts an archeological dig on what is an Iron Age site. Future plans include the restoration of a turnpike bridge over the South Low burn.

Bonfield Ghyll Farm – North Yorkshire Area Winner

Trudy and David Sanderson are National Trust tenants across two units and own an additional 15ha to provide better land for forage.

The pair run sheep and cattle, and supply the Barefoot Kitchen in Middlesbrough with sustainable grass-fed beef.

A key focus of their operations is supporting upland habitats for ground nesting birds on improved fields and rough inbye. Formerly in a Higher Level Stewardship scheme, the farm is now in Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship.

The land is also part of the ‘Ryevitalise’ Landscape Partnership Scheme supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, North York Moors National Park Authority and partners, for tree planting and riverbank work.

Land management includes extensive bracken control, drystone walling, hedges planted with hedgerow trees, the creation of wildlife corridors and pond and scrap habitats. An abundance of curlew, oyster catches and lapwings are supported.

This is a farm that is completely off-grid, the benefits of which are shared with visitors to a holiday let.

Redhouse Farm – South & West Yorkshire Area Winner


Michael and Thomas Woolhouse operate an intensive arable farm where they grow wheat, oilseed rape and grass.

No bagged nitrogen is used, only digestate, whilst the grass they harvest is used for their haulage business which exports to 12 countries and employs 13 people. They dry their grass using a ground source heat pump and solar power.

They have planted new hedgerows, wildflower mixes and wild bird mixes, including chicory, fennel, rye and phacelia, aimed at supporting partridge.

Herdship Farm – Tyne Tees Area Winner

Paul and Jen Johnson’s run cattle and sheep at land that runs up to 1,750ft on their tenanted farm which has been their home since 2008.

The farm is in extended Higher Level Stewardship, with the whole plot classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The Johnsons have created habitat for ground nesting birds such as curlew, lapwing, redshank, oyster catches, snipe and black grouse. Among the wildflower species present is the scarcely found bird’s-eye primrose.

There are no field operations in their species-rich meadows after April and the hay is cut in late-July/August. No artificial fertiliser or chemicals are used.

They work closely with external bodies as part of the Tees-Swale facilitation group including the RSPB and they have carried out a carbon survey as a base line to influence future land management decisions.

The judge said the enterprise was “a fine example of farming with the environment, not against it”.

Silver Lapwing Award

Picture credit: Tony Pick

National Silver Lapwing Award

Each year the overall winner of the Tye Trophy goes forward to take part in the Silver Lapwing Award.

Like the Tye Trophy, this is an award for farmers who have demonstrated real commitment to habitat conservation and species whilst integrating their environmental management within their overall farm business.

The judges also consider the farm’s approach in conserving natural resources as well as its historic features that would include good soil management, efficient use and protection of water quality and energy.

In 2023 Iwan Davies, farmer of Hafod-y-Maidd Farm in Wales won the Silver Lapwing Award, which demonstrates the high standards of the Tye Trophy.

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