A little bit of history
The campsite, cottages and farm are run by Gill, Fiona, Phil and Tom (Phil and Gill’s son). Tilly (pictured right) is also a key member of the team, along with 3 other terriers: Elsa, Rosco and Torro!
Manor Farm was bought by Gill and Fiona’s Grandfather in August 1918, when he left the army, after spending 4 years in the trenches of the Western Front.
He farmed the 150 acres with a few dairy cows and some arable crops. He had a local milk round, the cows were milked by hand and he delivered the milk by horse and cart! Through the generations we have had laying hens, breeding sows/pigs and sheep. We have gone full circle and have cows again!
First started on an informal basis during the 1930’s and gradually became more organised. ‘Thunderboxes’, primitive loos were introduced in the 1960’s. The first purpose built shower blocks were built in 1975, these are long gone now!
We grow 45 acres of spring (sown) malting barley. Hopefully this will be sold for brewing/distilling. We grow it for Diageo and it is taken from Gt Yarmouth to the Isle of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland. Diageo is the world’s largest producer of spirits (Bells, Johnny Walker etc) and Guinness.
We also grow 20 acres of sugar beet, which is a root crop similar to a turnip. The root contains approximately 18% sugar. It is grown on a contract to British Sugar and we produce around 600 tonnes of beet/year. British Sugar is owned by Associated British Foods who also own Primark. The beet are processed at a factory near Gt Yarmouth (approx. 30 miles from us). The brand name of this sugar, sold in the shops is Silver Spoon.
Sheep – We have 100 ewes and 2 Texel Rams. The ewes are ‘Mules’, a cross between a Blue Face/Border Leicester male (big frame and prolificacy) and a Swaledale female (good mothering/milking ability). The cross breed is put to a Texel ram to produce a meaty lamb. All our lamb is distributed to local butchers.
Cows – We have 20 suckler cows (cows that rear their calves). These are mainly Red Poll, which is a dual purpose breed (milk/meat). They do well on a low input, grass based production system. They spend all year outside and are fed on hay during the winter. We also have a few other cross-bred cows as well. Rosie on the left is an Aberdeen Angus/Limousin cross. All cows are put to a Simmental bull to produce meaty calves. The calves are sold at approximately 2 years old and like the lambs, distributed to local butchers.
Pigs – We also have around 430 pigs. These are reared in straw yards from 30kg up to 120kg (weaner to bacon). They are important for making muck, which we use to spread on our very sandy soil. This in turn improves moisture retention and fertility thus increasing the yield from our crops.
Pets – Titch and Gerbil, the ponies. Jess and Dora, the donkeys.
Maisie and her 2 kids, Lottie and Ludo. Daisy and her kid, Uno.
Torro, Tilly, Elsa and Rosco (dogs). Claude and Cecily (cats).