NATHAN

I’VE BEEN FARMING SINCE I WAS 12

Tell us a bit about your background and how long you have been farming?

I’m a first-generation farmer, I’ve been farming since I was 12. My father is a surveyor and used to Do maps of local farmer’s land who he knew through the local Sunday football league. He asked one of the farmers if I and my brother could come and see the lambs being born, my brother didn’t think much about it but I was bitten by the bug straight away. After that, I started helping out after school and on weekends.I went to agricultural college (where I met my wife) and then to Australia for two years to learn more about sheep farming. Now I am 40 and have been farming for myself for over 18 years.

Tell us more about your farm and the activities you do?
It is me and my wife Joanna who work on the farm. We hire some contractors to help during busy periods (such as lambing) and the kids give us a hand during the holidays.
We rent 1500 acres of land and own the 6 acres with our home farm. We farm on Ministry Of Defence land which means we have to work around army training.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our farm is positioned on ancient grassland on the Salisbury plain which is protected by the MOD, there is no right of way or houses which makes it very peaceful and undisturbed.

How many sheep do you have and what breed types?

It varies but about three to four thousands of different breeds. Being a 1st generation farmer on this land you can’t just stick to one thing. I favour Poll Dorsets as they are quiet sheep and lamb out of season.

What do you enjoy about working with sheep and what is the hardest part?

Working with sheep is very rewarding, I puff out my chest when I see a healthy pair of lambs on a sunny day. But they can be a handful, trying to keep them in… or the army out!

 

  • Years shepherding: 28 years
  • Location: Salisbury
  • Flock size: 4,000

Do you think there has been a change in farming over the past 10 years?

Better products, lorries and trailers are on the marketplace to help with animal wellbeing and an increased awareness of not overusing antibiotics. It is also easier for people like myself, 1st generation farmers, to enter into the business. We don’t have subsidies but we do have reasonable rent on the grounds and opportunities to be educated into the trade.

 

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 House of Hackney.

Founded by Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royle in 2011, House of Hackney is an award-winning British luxury brand renowned for ripping up the interiors rulebook and dreaming up iconic prints inspired by the world we live in. Proudly certified as a B Corp™, House of Hackney meets the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.

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