Healthy and Productive Livestock
Our spring calving beef suckler herd spend thier spring, summer and autumn grazing permanent pasture and herbal leys. They come indoors during the winter to avoid damage to the soil and to be able to put there energy into growing or preparing to calve again in the spring.
We use performance recorded Aberdeen Angus bulls and focus on genetics that can convert grass to meat efficiently.
Hedgerows and Trees
Hedges and Trees are a significant part of the landscape of our farm, they provide vital habitat for wildlife, as well as providing shade and shelter for our livestock. We have planted over 4000 trees on the farm to help sequester carbon from the atmosphere, increase environmental infrastructure and slow the flow of water within our river catchment.
Our hedges are managed to provide blossom for invertebrates, berries and dense cover for nesting birds. We rejuvenate them by laying and coppicing on a long rotation to produce fire wood for our log burner and woodchip to compost and add to our soils to increase organic matter.
We have been lucky enough to have been graziers for conservation grazing projects with organizations like Dartmoor National Park and The Devon Wildlife Trust. These have taken us to some wild and beautiful places.
We currently have 80 acres of low input pasture, marsh and wood pasture which we manage with our cattle to allow flowering grasses and wildflower species to thrive, providing nectar and shelter for invertebrates and a food supply for birds.
Legume and Herb rich leys
We have over 50 acres of herbal leys on the farm, these are abundant with legumes and herbs, suitable for productive cattle and sheep, grazing and cutting for silage. They also provide habitat and food for invertebrates, including crop pollinators, and improve soil structure and water infiltration. Legumes are fixing nitrogen from the air into the soil which acts as a nitrate fertilizer.
Soil and Water
The soil of our permanent pasture stores carbon as well as growing plants to feed our livestock.
We need to look after our soil if we want it to be productive and sustainable. We regularly soil test so we can address any deficiencies and add as much organic mater as we can to hold on to nutrients and moisture and build good soil structure. Using minimum tillage techniques when reseeding helps us release less carbon from our soils and causes less disturbs to the soil eco system.
We have made several improvements through the Catchment Sensitive Farming scheme to ensure we protect the watercourses on our farm.