A WARRINGTON farmer has been deemed to have the happiest cows in Cheshire, and some of the happiest cows in all the UK.

David Johnson, 54, runs a Lower Whitley farm that is part of the Arla CARE scheme, in which farmers are a part of a co-operative that ensures they are managed in a sustainable environmentally friendly fashion.

Warrington Guardian: David Johnson, who owns and runs the farmDavid Johnson, who owns and runs the farm (Image: Michael Slavin)

CARE stands for co-operative, animal welfare, renewable energy, and ecosystem initiatives.

David said that he has “run the farm this way for 25-plus years” as he believes that sustainable farming is the right thing to do regardless of the newfound consumer benefits to this.

“You won’t be able to produce quality milk unless you have happy cows, so it is built into our DNA,” he said.

When asked how he achieved the title of happiest cows in Cheshire, the Warrington farmer said: “Mostly I would start with the fact that they graze mostly here.

"When they’re not grazing and they’re being sheltered for the weather, they have individual mattresses to lie on, they have grooming brushes to groom themselves on, they have a balanced nutritional diet prepared by an independent nutritionist, 24 hour vet cover, they get looked after better than I do to be honest.”

The farm also runs several ecosystem initiatives, including tree planting, herbal lays, grazing systems where they encourage more organic matter, composting, and hedge planting.

As well as this, he spoke about how he had introduced a barn-owl habitat on the farm, which this last year had been successful after years of trying.

Warrington Guardian: The first sighting of a barn owl spotted on David's farmThe first sighting of a barn owl spotted on David's farm (Image: David Johnson)

“If you’re going to be sustainable it doesn’t work unless you’re part of [introducing ecosystem initiatives], it’s very much a culture of being part of nature rather than being in charge of it.”