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Ed Walters

Ed was one of the first two farmers to supply Grassroots Farming. And, farming in Berkshire, often hosts bus loads of chefs or executive boards on his farm. ​He integrates beef, sheep, arable and turkeys into his family farm.

Ed's Farm

High up on the Berkshire Downs adjacent to the famous Ridgeway Path sits Bower Farm. Leased from the Yattendon Estates on a long standing tenancy, it has been run by the Walters Family since 1911.

Ed is the latest generation to manage it alongside his wife, Kate. His father, Phillip, is still actively involved.

Bower Farm itself extends to approximately 670 acres, comprising 500 acres of arable crops and 170 acres of permanent pasture for cattle and sheep, a further 300 acres of permanent pasture is leased for grazing. 

"I started working with Grassroots Farming right at the very beginning. We're close to London so we used to get lots of chefs out which was exciting and a bit different!" says Ed.

He now manages the farm with the environment at the heart of his decision making. Bower farm is part of a Countryside Stewardship agreement which rewards particularly high environmental practice. It has two designated "sites of special scientific interest" (SSSI) due to diverse plant species which are maintained by sheep and cattle grazing.


"The farm is home to 24 species of bird, including areas where the rare stone-curlew breeds which we manage specially in conjunction with the RSPB." says Ed. 

Rising 600 feet above sea level with panoramic views in every direction, rolling chalk hills drop into valleys with heavier clay. 


The cattle are predominantly traditional Hereford and Angus cross, bought as calves from dairy herds. The calves start grazing in sheltered fields from ten weeks of age. These fields are planted with temporary herbal and grass leys that have been introduced into the arable farm rotation. 

This is with the aim of increasing soil fertility through the use of animal impact on land that has been cultivated and cropped for too long. 

The animals are rotationally grazed and moved onto new pasture every couple of days to allow plants to recover and regrow. Their diet contains a mix of grassed, forbes, legumes and herbs.

During the winter they are brought inside to avoid damaging the soil, however older animals may spend the winter outdoors grazing forage crops if the weather permits. 

Ed says the sweet spot is where environmental decisions support financial decisions. After years of investing in the health of his soil, he now plans to cut artificial nitrogen fertiliser use and fossil fuel emissions in half by 2028, as well as reducing to zero all compound fertilisers. 

"My aim is to tread lightly on the land while also building financial resilience. This isn't always easy to achieve, and being part of Grassroots is part of solving that puzzle" says Ed.

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