Our small 80 acre farm has been in the family since the 1930s. Until this year we were growing a traditional rotation of wheat, barley and sugar beet. The farm has always been low intensity and has kept its small fields and hedgerows that make ideal habitats for wildlife.
Over the past year we have experimented with trial plots of wildlflowers and clover mixes designed to provide food for pollinators and farmland birds. It has been a great success and we have decided to embark on a new adventure, committing the whole farm to farming for wildlife, with land management help from our own Shetland sheep and another local flock. As well as creating new habitat we will be helping to rear grass fed lamb for local farmers markets.
We also focus on producing beautiful natural fibres that we sell as yarn or crochet and woven accessories. As well as our flock of Shetlands we keep a herd of huacaya and suri alpacas who graze 5 acres of grassland next to the farmyard. Shetlands and alpacas make very little impact on the land – Shetlands due to their small size and alpacas because of their soft padded feet. They both thrive on a mixed diet of varied grasses, herbs, legumes and wild flowers and need very little processed hard feed. Their fibre comes in a variety of natural colours so there is also no need for chemical dyes.
We sell eggs from our free range Bovans Goldline hens and runner ducks. We also have small amounts of honey from our resident Hepworth Bee Co-operative honey bees. You will be able to say hello to all of the animals, or book a walk with the alpacas when you visit.
Throughout the year we have the privilege of watching owls, kestrels and buzzards hunting across the fields. We also regularly see roe and muntjac deer, hares and birds such as linnets, yellowhammers, partridges and skylarks. More elusive, but there in the darkness, are hedgehogs, foxes and a badger. We have created a 1.5km grass track walk around the farm so that you can explore the meadows and wildlife when you stay.
We hope you can join us!
Kath and Neel Shearer