After enjoying watching the Commonwealth Games I feel like I am being passed the baton from William and Andrew Cowx and I am hoping I don’t drop it.
I have enjoyed reading about their farming endeavours and I willl try my best to follow in their footsteps.
But a bit about me and the farm you will be hearing about. I am 35 years old, married to Victoria and we have three sons Thomas, six, Ben, four, and Rory, 18 months. Having three boys under six keeps us on our toes.
We live on the edge of the Leven Estuary. All of the land is in-grass, with 73 hectares (180 acres) of improved grassland, 104ha (260 acres) of permanent pasture and 20ha (50 acres) of woodland. Much of our land is at sea-level and some of it is reclaimed salt marsh, which means we have many drains and ditches to maintain as well as a sea defence to look after.
The low lying land is mainly sandy loam with patches of peat and has loved the hot weather this summer. The other half of the farm is free draining, so we have good mix. We also have 60ha (150 acres) of salt marsh.
My brother Simon lives with his wife Leona and two daughters, Pheobe, four, and Amelia, two, at the farm near Barrow. The land there is 40ha (100 acres) of heavy clay and has enjoyed a wonderful summer so far. Our barley is grown nearby.
Our commercial sheep flock is made up of 650 Mule ewes and 350 Texel cross ewes. We lamb indoors from February 20, with the main flock lambing in March.
Most of our lambs are sold live through Ulverston Auction Mart and we sell about 400 salt marsh lambs every year through Holker Estates. Our Texel flock is called Nab Point and we focus on providing quality shearling rams for commercial farmers.
We have 65 Salers cows which perform well at grass. About 150 store cattle are purchased every year and they are fattened and sold live, mainly to local butchers.
About 12,000 free-range hens make up our final enterprise. We have two 6,000-bird units and the hens have been great for our business, fitting in really well with our other livestock.
In general, we try and keep things simple and efficient, undertaking most tasks ourselves. We are firm believers every day is a school day.
Now I have given you an overview of our business I will try and fill in the details as we go along in the coming months.
Hopefully, I might see you at the upcoming tup sales and we will be at Carlisle, Kelso, Penrith and Ulverston. You will probably see me – I am easy to spot.