Our Environment

Growing top quality Merino wool and cashmere takes skill, hard work, knowledge and the very best modern genetics. All combined, they mean our animals are among the best you will find anywhere.  But these animals do not grow in laboratories – WE don’t work in a laboratory – we all live on one of the most beautiful farms in Devon with its unique ecosystem, its own population of wildlife and a 1000 year history of growing good, healthy livestock.

Farmhouse and buildings

Animals don’t grow well if the land they live on is not also well cared for. DEFRA and Enviromental Groups would say  land needs to be “In Good Environmental Condition” – we prefer the old farmers saying of  “In Good Heart”. The farmer’s version means so much more. It implies the land has a living, breathing existence as an entity, it knows when it feels good and it literally bursts out with life and energy as a consequence.

It’s our duty as farmers and stewards of this ancient place, to continue to use the bounty the land gives us and  care for it in a way that keeps it “in Good Heart”. We listen and watch the land – leaning over a farm gate is never wasted time – and we see the signs that all is well or, unusually, that something is NOT well. We respond to those signs and act on them daily to maintain the precious environment we share with so many other creatures.

Iron Mill stream - deposition and erosion
Iron Mill stream – home to Brown Trout and Otters
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Wooded since the Ice Age, our steep valley sides are full of rare lichens.
Bucks enjoying some of our wood-edge pasture. Their natural control of docks and thistles allows a wide range of species to develop in our grassland.

 

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Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary on Self Heal. We have 2 large populations of this rare butterfly on our farm.
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Land and animals “in Good Heart”. Grazing a silage aftermath at dawn, mid summer.