A pioneering west Norfolk estate director has become the first UK farmer to become qualified as a Soil Food Web consultant.

Nick Padwick, who oversees sustainable farming and nature restoration efforts at Wild Ken Hill near Snettisham, is one of just 39 people globally to earn the accreditation.

As well as understanding how to analyse soil samples, he can now provide professional advice under the banner of the Soil Food Web - a programme developed by leading soil scientist Dr Elaine Ingham.

He is also qualified to create and retail composts designed to bring microbial life back to soil ecosystems.

Mr Padwick said: "If you look at soil under a microscope, it should be teeming with bacteria and protozoa. But the cyclical application of fertiliser and pesticide have simply killed all the life within our soils.

"When I first looked at the soils here at Wild Ken Hill, it was pretty dull. There was hardly any life.

"But we’re now seeing some amazing stuff thanks to the regenerative practices and composting programme we are using.

"We want to share what we’re doing here so that we can help UK agriculture make the changes needed, at pace."