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Graham Parks

Farming at Overbank Farm in Cheshire with his partner, Pam, Graham and his cattle are reaping the rewards of controlled paddock grazing, using minimal manmade inputs in the system. In 2023 he was named Grassland Farmer of the Year by the British Grassland Society. 

Graham's Farm

Overbank Farm, near Macclesfield in Cheshire is home to Graham's herd of cattle. He prides himself on the attention to detail needed to farm well when so much is outside of a farmers control. 


The cattle are native breeds, mainly Hereford and Angus crossed with Jersey. They flourish in the outdoor forage-based system, where the major part of their diet is grass straight from the ground. The animals are bought as calves from two dedicated dairy farms that Graham has a close relationship with. 

"I spent some time buying calves from the market but too often we had problems. Having a relationship with the dairy farms means I can make sure we get healthy happy calves from day one on our farm", says Graham.


The cattle are brought indoors only from mid November to mid February during the very wettest part of the year, and are fed grass that was cut on the farm during the summer. 


Understanding the potential of regenerative farming practices led Graham to adopt rotational grazing across the farm. Every field can be sub-divided with electric fence and portable water troughs. The paddock sizes are adapted to match the size of the cattle mob, with the animals normally moved every two to three days.


"We often graze groups of 180 animals together to get maximum impact on the system" says Graham. 


Graham became a Grassroots Farming supplier after working with James Daniel to adopt regenerative farming. "James worked with me to understand the potential of a forage based rotational system, and then helped me set-up the infrastructure and grazing plan. The next obvious step was to start supplying Grassroots Farming". 


In 2023, in recognition of all the work Graham has put into his regenerative grazing, he was awarded Grassland Farmer of the Year by the British Grassland Society. 


Our Grassroots ecologist identified twenty-three different species of birds at Overbank Farm, testament to the environmental impact Graham is having. These included meadow pipits, wrens, nuthatch, linnets and buzzards. 

Graham has fenced off over 1,500m of waterways on the farm which have proved to be a valuable wildlife corridor for voles, field mice and an array of farmland birds. 

Dung beetles have returned to the farm, and Graham is now working on increasing the population of earthworms and speeding up the water infiltration rate on some fields, which he is hoping will result from leaving longer grass and better root structures through much of the year. 

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