Our small 80 acre farm grows wheat, barley, winter beans and sugar beet. It has been in the family since the 1930s, with my father at the helm over the past thirty years. It is now home to me, my husband and our three children and I am beginning the task of trying to gather the wealth of wisdom that Dad has to share!
This year we are planting a new orchard at the front of the farmhouse that will be a home for our curious chickens. We will also be joined by four young male alpacas who will be grazing 5 acres of grassland next to the farmyard. Alpacas have soft pads on their feet so make very little impact on the land. They will be helping us to improve the diversity of the grassland by keeping a check on the dominant grasses and giving space for native wildflowers. You will be able to say hello, or book a walk with the alpacas when you visit.
The farm is surrounded by open fields and most days in the summer we have the privilege of watching our resident barn owl hunting across the meadow. We also regularly see deer, hares, woodpeckers, kestrels and buzzards. We want to do what we can to support the diversity of the local wildlife by using chemicals sparingly, looking after our hedgerows and creating wild areas that are left for nature. We feel that it is important to support our natural crop pollinators too so we do what we can to make a home for wild bees. We also keep a hive of honey bees here as members of the Hepworth Bee Cooperative.
The 4 acre camping meadow is a part of our environmental project and we are working hard to improve the diversity of plants within it and get on top of those that are doing more harm than good. We will be introducing new wild flowers, trialing a system of cutting different areas each year and keeping an eye on how local wildlife responds to our efforts.
The farm ethos has always been to tread lightly on the land and we have tried to carry this forward to the campsite. We want to provide a small, relaxed, friendly and sustainable site that makes the most of our beautiful countryside.
We hope you can join us!
Kath and Neel Shearer