Make your pledge for net zero for your chance to win a solar light

24 June 2022

Farm business Net zero
An image of a public footpath alongside farm fields

Many NFU members are already taking positive steps to help the agriculture sector achieve net zero by 2040.

Have you pledged yet?

Make a pledge for net zero on our pledge map and you’ll be entered into our monthly prize draw for the chance to win a solar light.

More than 325 farmers have pledged so far, letting us know the actions they are taking across our three net zero pillars. So whether you are currently taking action for net zero or have plans to do so in the next 12 months, let us know.

Read the prize draw terms and conditions.

Make a pledge on our pledge map and you could win a solar light

Film a quick video or take a picture of what you are doing and share on your social media with #Pledge2040.

The more members who come together to make a pledge for net zero, the bigger the change we can make together. Each and every action counts.

Not sure where to start with net zero? Check out our new net zero resource page for some guidance.

Pledging for net zero - May update

May’s winners include:

  • Graham and Sarah Whitwell – North West
  • Andrew Branton – South West
  • Russell and Rhys Edwards – Wales
  • Samantha Orde – North East
  • Kit Speakman – East Anglia

Read what our winners had to say

We spoke to our May winners about the changes they have made and how they set about approaching their net zero contributions on farm.

Andrew Branton, South West

"We have a 100-cow dairy farm down in Devon. 10 years ago, we installed a wind turbine and that has been great, generating electricity for the farm. We are also experimenting with no till maize whilst working alongside the principles of regenerative farming.

"Looking to the future, we would like to install solar panels and batteries to improve storage of the electricity we generate. Making these changes not only improves our efforts towards net zero, it’s for the next generation and for our children. It’s for us to lead by example with the methods that work."

Russell and Rhys Edwards, Wales

"We are a Farming Connect Demonstration Site so we are always looking to work with other farmers and experts to find answers to issues, to trial different ideas and to share our knowledge with the industry.

"Our sheep, which we are rotational grazing, are monitored for growth rates, temperature and water intake.

"We know our sheep are the top 1% EBV and fastest growers from our involvement in the RamCompare Project.

"On farm, we have a ground source heat pump and hydro generator which produce electricity and we are harvesting rainwater for usage. We are always looking at other ways to reduce our carbon footprint."

Graham and Sarah Whitwell, North West

Samantha Orde, North East

Coltpark Farms has adopted a strategy aiming for net zero.

"We value and protect our upland areas and features such as dry stone walls. We are in a mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship scheme encouraging birds such as curlews and protecting archaeological features, including traditional ridge and furrow and remnants of old mines.

"We have removed multiple corners of fields from agriculture and designated them as environmental areas. We maintain ponds, wetlands and riversides for the benefit of wildlife and fauna. We are planting more hedges and replanting woodlands damaged by Storm Arwen.

"On the more productive land we have focused on efficient grass production and used fodder break crops to enable us to drastically reduce bought-in feed. We continually consider our carbon footprint in making business decisions."

Kit Speakman, East Anglia

"We’re a mixed arable, beef and sheep farm in Essex. We have solar panels on our farm which supply all of our office and commercial buildings with energy. We are widening our rotation by introducing more grass, primarily to feed cattle, and we are looking to grow different crops which are more tolerant.

"We use cattle muck and import chicken manure to increase our P and K levels. As well as arable land, grassland is irrigated to make more silage or autumn grazing for cattle when needed. It’s all about maximising assets and using these efficiently."

Kit makes good use of the lake for irrigation and fishing, and to generate electricity too, with the installation of a lake source heat pump. The farm has been part of the Countryside Stewardship scheme for roughly 20 years. ‘

"We graze 300-head of cattle on stewardship land, growing herbal leys, with 100 outwintered to save on housing. They are fed on stubble turnips, forage rape, straw and minerals. The rest are bedded in straw yards to produce farmyard manure, which then goes back onto the fields."

A solar light on a stand

The prize

You could win an SM 100 solar light from Solar Aid.

Perfect as a handheld torch, a freestanding light or you can attach a strap (not included) and wear it as a head torch. 

Prizes are kindly donated by NFU Energy. Every light purchased helps to get another solar light to rural Africa, getting safe, clean light to families currently living without electricity.

SolarAid

SolarAid is a UK charity whose work has been recognised as impacting on 12 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. They believe that universal access to renewable energy is the best way to alleviate poverty and end darkness and the best way to ensure this is by building local, sustainable businesses. Their Social Enterprise SunnyMoney is one of the main sellers of solar lights in Africa. SunnyMoney agents travel to remote rural communities to make clean light available where there were previously only unhealthy and expensive alternatives, like kerosene lamps and candles. They help instil trust and create demand in a new and unfamiliar technology – which helps build the foundations for a sustainable solar market and a lasting energy legacy.


One solar light:

  • Averts 1.1 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.
  • Saves families £159 who will no longer has to spend money on dangerous candles or toxic kerosene.
  • Allows 1,006 hours of extra study time for a child, who will study by safe light after the sun has set.

Climate change

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