Based near the City of Ely in Cambridgeshire, GCH Growers is a family-owned business, farming in excess of 620 hectares of black fenland peat.
Our grandfather, Guy Shropshire, moved to the Cambridgeshire fens in 1952, and, once there, began to grow salads to supply the UK market. We three brothers (GCH Growers) are the third generation of the family working within the business and our aim is to continue growing and supplying to the same very high standards achieved by the previous two generations.
All our crops are grown on the Cambridgeshire fenland. Our soils are very important to us and they ensure the sustainability of our farming business. The excellent condition and structure of the soils allow us to consistently supply fresh quality produce over the whole UK season.
We have a 120 million gallon reservoir on one of our blocks of land near Stretham; this water is available whenever water abstaction restrictions are in place.
Our aim is the sustainable intensification of our farms as we continuously aim to produce higher yields of better quality crops, using fewer inputs and with lower impact on the environment.
Since the fenlands are an important bedrock of our farming business, we place great value not only on the preservation and development of our soils, but also on the wildlife and fauna which contribute so much to this diverse environment.
Over the past ten years thousands of trees and miles of hedgerows have been planted on the farm in order to create habitats and increase biodiversity right beside our crops. We believe that linking biodiversity and farming is an important factor within a successful farm.
The farm has been a LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) Demonstration Farm since the year 2000, and hosts visits from schools, colleges, universities, and agricultural and conservation groups. In addition, over the past five years, several thousand people have visited our farms at successful Open Farm Sunday events, and we look forward to many more such opportunities to welcome the public.
Working with FWAG (Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group), we have identified key species and habitats in need of protection and enhancement within our farming environment. New habitats have aslo been established across the farm to encourage these species to flourish.