Corby village goat farm named heroes of net zero at COP26

They were shortlisted for their green approach to farming

By Alison Bagley
Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 11:41 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 11:42 am

A family-owned goat farm and micro dairy has been praised by judges at a top award ceremony in Glasgow at the COP26 summit for championing green farming methods.

The Cottingham-based husband and wife team of Ian and Lauren Horton, who are behind the Ganders Goat brand, nearly missed the ceremony as they had been held up by numerous security checks.

Making it to the correct venue with a minute to spare, the couple joined ten finalists and judges of the Heroes of Net Zero Competition and were rewarded for their organic approach to their goat farm with a runners-up certificate.

Hero of Net Zero Ian Horton from Ganders Goat

Farmer Ian said: "We are really proud to be here and flying the flag for what we do.

"It was a real mix of businesses from across the UK - it was good - but we only just made it with a minute to spare. It was a bit of a circus and had to get past four barriers before we got through.

"For us we look after nature and nature looks after the farm. Everything is in balance and being in balance helps the biodiversity. We work on organic principles and follow a 'zero graze' model."

More than 160 businesses entered the competition, making a public commitment on the UK Business Climate Hub. Businesses could enter in two categories - micro and small. The best entries were judged by a panel of experts including the government’s net zero champion Andrew Griffith.

Ian and Lauren Horton with son William

The 11 acre Ganders Goat site in Rockingham Road, Cottingham, is home to the Hortons' herd of 50 'milkers' and kids.

From the micro dairy they produce goat milk ice cream, goat milk soap and even offer goat walking experiences.

Using zero graze, the goats are fed with grass cut from the farm's fields. Grazing is for the kid goats that are moved from pasture to pasture mimicking how herds naturally feed.

The Heroes of Net Zero competition judges awarded the 'highly commended' in the micro business category, praising Ganders Goat for 'highlighting the practical steps a business can take to reduce their energy demands while not neglecting the climate challenges faced by a business working in livestock'.

Ian Horton (left) received a 'Highly Commended' from the judges

Measures taken on the farm include switching to LED light fittings, installing more efficient freezers, using solar power to become energy self-sufficient and focusing on carbon capture to offset their livestock’s emissions.

Ian said: "The grazing system gives the grass time to recover. The barn and yard method has locked up 250 tonnes of carbon. It's working in harmony with nature. Last year we had ten species of grass, this year we have 26. In there will be deeper rooting varieties that can resist droughts, others have shallower roots.

"We hope that it will inspire people."

Design Abled were named the overall winner. The PPE designers and manufacturers impressed the judges for supporting the UK to stay safe in the pandemic, while continuing to make cutting their emissions central to their entire operations. For all the finalists and winners click here.For more information on Ganders Goat and their products click here.

Ganders Goat
Ganders Goat works in harmony with nature