Martyn-Uglow Family

Our favourite time of year is Spring. Lighter, fresher days. The start of new life on the farm. The trees coming out in leaf.  

Lesley

Phil and Lesley are both from Cornish Farming families. Phil always wanted to farm. Lesley wanted to be a farmer up until the age of 14, then decided to go into catering, which she did and at the age of 21, set up her own catering company, Anytime Anywhere.

Hornacott Barton farm was bought by Lesley’s Granfer Martyn. In time, Lesley’s father inherited it and since his retirement in 2017, Phil and Lesley have taken the farm on.  They are now 3rd generation farmers. They have 2 children together, Bella and Sybil who are active around the farm and especially love lambing time. Phil is the main farm worker, organising pretty much everything. Lesley helps with the stock and does most of the farm paperwork. Contractors are employed for baling, hedge trimming, etc.

We have a mix of beef and sheep. We have 90 commercial suckler cows, 12 pedigree Aberdeen Angus cows and approx. 400 sheep, commercial and pedigree.

Phil has a passion for breeding stock. He is no tractor man! We take great pride and care in all our stock, but the genetics of the pedigree stock is the most exciting aspect for us. Phil will shear his rams and show sheep. Our average Texel ram sale figures have increased year on year.

 

Our favourite time of year is Spring. Lighter, fresher days. The start of new life on the farm. The trees coming out in leaf. We’re invested in the environmental aspects here. We have an amazing farm, with not only beautiful grassland, but 70 acres of woodland, a stretch of the River Tamar and streams and ponds. We have put together a woodland management plan and just reinstated 3000 metres of new banks and hedgerow. Hornacott is heavy clay type soil.  Since taking on the farm we have continued to improve the land, through organic matter, bio solids and processes such as sub soiling. The grass quality has improved no end.

The breeding programme is the best bit. Deciding what ewes to put to what rams and then seeing the results in the spring. We are always striving for improvement. The girl’s favourite times are lambing (the local school always visit one day during lambing), showing and shearing. They spend all day jumping and rolling on the full wool bags! Our Texel’s are bred to produce high yielding lambs. The Border Leicester’s have a great mothering ability and are excellent producers of wool.

The hardest part of working with sheep is really when things go wrong that are out of your control.  When you look after them and do all that you can to keep them well fed, watered and healthy, but they still fall ill. We have good systems in place, so it is not really hard. For example, we have a great race, weigh and handling system. Lambing time Phil does the early morning shift as well as all day and Lesley helps in the day between child jobs and then does the late-night shift.

We are always keen to learn more and are members of the Penbode Vets Flock Health Plan Club. We attend seminars and talks to share and learn from. Peer to peer meetings are an invaluable source of knowledge for us.

  • Location: Launceston
  • Flock Size: 600
  • Breed Types: Texel & Pedigree Border Leicester

The girl’s favourite thing about wool is shearing day when they can bounce and roll on the wool bags. I’ve just asked Bella what her favourite thing about wool is and she said having Daddy slams on the wool bags! The majority of our shearing is done by local shearer and friend Chris Ruby. Shearing takes a full day. Usually the beginning of June – the week prior to The Royal Cornwall Show. Always two shearers. Starting 7.00 a.m. Stop for breakfast at 9.00 a.m. Then lunch at 1.00 p.m. and tea at the end of the day.

We have friends that knit and wool felt items from our fleeces before. Making beautiful wool felt decorations. My mum has knitted the girls beautiful clothing, as have a couple of our friends.

Wool is such an undervalued and under used product. It is environmentally friendly and produced in this country. Anyone that can successfully promote wool and help the farmer achieve a good price is to be supported. The 2020 Global Covid Pandemic has had such a detrimental effect on the wool market, it needs all the support it can get.

In years gone by, Phil’s Grandad used to say that the wool cheque would pay the farm rent for a year. We fear those days are very much long gone. We are proud to know that our wool has gone into a responsible supply chain like the Woolkeepers®.

Close the loop and find out what we made?

The Woolkeepers® initiative has captured both transparency and traceability in a unique wool assurance scheme which traces wool from farm gate to shop front. Our visibility within the supply chain ensures compliance with safety, sustainability and welfare requirements. Each time we process wool, we create a unique identifier which traces the batch back to farm, as well as forward to our customer.

This batch of wool went to a rural retailer bases in the heart of England to make home interior products

 

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