As organic farmers, we don’t use any artificial fertilisers or chemical sprays. This is an incredibly important way of creating an environment for wildlife to thrive in. We’ve also dedicated 25 acres of our farm purely to giving homes to wild species like field mice, voles and skylarks. We also leave extra-wide margins around all our fields so our resident barn owls can happily hunt for their supper.
When we moved to Holt Farm back in 1961, we had just 35 cows. These British Friesians thrived on the Valley’s rich, green pastures and looking after them has been my life’s work ever since. I’m really proud of what a strong, healthy and, most importantly, happy herd they are. For more than 40 years, we’ve bred all our cows ourselves. They’re a real part of the family, with their own names and very detailed family trees. Since day one, we’ve only ever had British Friesians because they’re really well-suited to the grazing we have on our farms. We’ve worked incredibly hard to build up our pedigree herd – and long may it continue! It goes without saying that organic cows need organic food. They’re designed to eat grass, and we’re firm believers that free-ranging, pasture-fed cows produce the very best milk. When it’s too wet or cold for them to be outside, we bring them into our warm, dry barns and feed them conserved grass, cereal crops and hay – all organic and entirely produced on the farms. Once the spring comes, they all go back to the fields to graze on the fresh grass in the clover-rich fields.