James Edwards Sheep farmer, Kingsclere estate, Basingstoke
Kinglsclere estate is a farm that operates a regenerative farming system, thinking beyond sustainability to abundance…repairing and rebuilding the earth beneath their feet.
James’s sheep are free to roam, and by grazing on early grass it helps it to develop a thicker structure that in turn improves the soil. As the season progresses the flock starts following the cattle around, finishing off any grass left behind. Their dung attracts extra dung beetles, increasing the biodiversity in the system. James’ sheep are a wool-shedding variety, which means they’re not shorn – this avoids welfare issues (no tail docking) and their shorter coats mean cleaner, healthier sheep.
For further information on Kingsclere’s project, take a look at their website:
Caroline Wheatley-Hubbard. Rare breed Tamworth pig farmer, Boyton farm Warminster
An age old approach towards pig farming
“Our family have farmed since the 19th Century and the most important lesson we've learnt was taught to us by the pig. The Tamworth's ability to thrive and produce the finest meats in any of our outdoor environments has shown us that nature's designs are the ones to follow.
Our family run, mixed, farm has been based on this principle. From the crops that are grown to produce our own home-milled food, to the down lands and water meadows we conserve to allow our livestock to roam in, we strive to keep our working principles as close to nature as we can. Whilst not being classified as organic we believe that by being involved in the entire food chain from grass and corn to steak and chop, we can offer you the ultimate guarantee of quality.”
Tom Hordle. Wild New Forest beef, Broom Copse farm New Forest
Toms cattle freely roam over the wild lands of the New Forest.
“I am first generation farmer that runs a herd of Hereford cattle out on the open New Forest. I produce high quality, slow grown beef, using traditional and sustainable methods. The cattle freely roam over 90,000 acres of the New Forest - eating a natural and varied diet, playing a vital role creating the unique and rare habitats that benefits so many native plants, insects and birds, as well as giving the beef a truly exclusive taste.”
Robert and Alice Mercer Chicken farmers, Packington farm, Blakenhall park
“At Packington, we still remember how chicken used to taste when we were kids, and it’s a standard we’re committed to bringing back!”
At just one day old the chicks begin on their journey, housed in special sheds with warm bedding, heating and good ventilation. As the birds grow the heater is turned down to ensure they become strong and able to adjust to the weather condition outside. At about 3 weeks old the shed doors open and the birds are free to roam on the range to their hearts content. But, in the evening they’re brought back into safety to protect them from night time predators such as foxes. All their chickens roam free on English pasture, consisting of various grasses, clovers and herbs, with perches and shelters staggers across the land to offer shade food and water, its an idyllic setting to which all their birds experience throughout their lifetime.
Mark and Deborah Harding Organic pigs and cows, Sunnyside farm, Parracombe Devon
Sunnyside farm is a very small family run Organic farm in the heart of Lorna Doone country a short driver away from the picturesque villages of Lynton and Lynmouth. When we visited Deborah and her family she took great pride in introducing us to all her animals on the farm, from her happy herd of cows which respond to her by name, to her humble pigs and even the cat. All of Deborah’s farm animals are treated exactly as if they were her own personal pets, allowed to thrive across her rugged English farm land. The farm also offers education trips for local schools to introduce children of all ages to farming and encourages full inclusion to help children on their path to understand the importance of considerate farming.