KNOWLEDGE gained as a trustee with our charity has supported Andy Gray in becoming a finalist in this year’s BBC Food & Farming Awards.

The farmer from Elston Farm in Devon, who has been a trustee with us since 2015, has been nominated in the sought-after Farming Today Farming for the Future category.

This celebrates farmers who are dedicated to innovative and sustainable farming practices which benefit the environment, promote access to quality food, and inspire future generations of farmers.

Adapting farming practices

Andy said: “The forward-looking advice and help the team at Westcountry Rivers Trust provide to farmers and landowners shows how practices can be adapted to benefit our natural environment, and they have certainly helped me with fresh thinking on the landscape.

“With an uncertain and complicated future for farming, we need good science to help us understand how to produce our food in sympathy with the environment, protecting our biodiversity and climate whilst also producing nutritious food, and we need food supply systems that can support this type of farming.

Andy chats to the visiting judges at Elston Farm

“Making the finals recognises the work of the great people involved at Elston Farm and our associated projects.”

Andy’s background

Andy is also the managing director of MC Kelly, a supplier of locally sourced meats providing produce to the hospitality industry and butchers across the South West.

Along with his trustee role with us, Andy also chairs the River Taw Fisheries and Conservation Association, holds the position of Chairman of Council for the Devon County Agricultural Association, serves as a Non-Executive Director of Devon Farm Kitchen and has recently been appointed as an ambassador for the Forestry Commission.

He has been involved with various trials relating to soil health and biodiversity; Silvopasture, which integrates tree cultivation within livestock farming; and is a partner with Farm Wilder, which selects, labels and markets 100% pasture-fed meat.

He added: “There are many ways UK farmers are learning to address biodiversity loss and climate change and the River Trusts are a key part of spreading this knowledge to farmers like me and helping with access to funding and advice.”

Find out more about the awards at

Photo: Elston Farm. Andy is pictured with Charlotte Smith (centre), presenter of BBC Farming Today and Lucy Speed, actor and BBC Archers character.