The farm is a place of constant change. People come and go, the daily drama of the land and all its creatures is played out, the seasons run their course across our lives. We have great inspirations – and we have disasters. It is easier to feel the pulse of life more keenly when it is so entwined with the land’s narrative.
We aim to be highly productive and efficient in some parts of the land whilst designating others to be of maximum benefit to wildlife through their management. By managing our woodlands, planting thousands of trees, reverting some improved grasslands, creating new hedgerows and ponds we have hugely increased the range of habitats on the farm. Biodiversity is a key consideration in all our practices.
On the farm we have a whole history of sheep farming. We have been sheep farmers on this hill for ever – how many can say they are still doing the same job there predecessors were doing here 5,000 years ago?!
We process the wool when we have time.
Our cows are pivotal in our lives. They are the rhythm that orders our days and they provide us with rich creamy sustenance!
The bees have not been particularly productive in recent years but are an endless source of learning.
Poultry provide us with eggs (sometimes!)
In our gardens and poly tunnels we grow most of our own vegetables – a challenge with frosts persisting till mid June.
Food is processed and stored for winter.
We also harvest wild fruits and flowers to make wines…
and forage extra foods for the table.
Our woodlands are managed to provide fuel for our heating system, fencing materials and building timbers for our various projects as well as being a haven for wildlife.
We have 35 kinds of willow to make baskets from…
… and have planted and restored many hedgerows.
The creation of ponds has brought in many new species.
We enjoy building! The farmhouse was the first challenge, it was empty for 40 years before we found it and its restoration was a true labour of love. Since then we have done plenty of restorations…
… and several new builds.
All our energy needs are met from renewable sources – wood for heating, sun and wind for electricity.