Summerley Hall Fruit Farm
Apperknowle, England, GB
We farm approximately 108 acres. The farm is mostly permanent pasture, and we also have just over 16 acres of woodland (a 50/50 split of old established natural woodland and a new area of trees planted in 2008). There are almost 4km of hedgerows on the farm, most of which are very large (3m+ high and of a similar width). These are all old hedgerows that have existed for many years, although they’ve been allowed to grow out much more in the last 10-15 years, since we entered the farm into stewardship.
We have a small suckler herd of approximately 20 adult cows, plus a bull and a few replacements. These are calved in the spring and the calves are currently sold the following spring as yearlings. The herd is made up of purebred Simmental cattle, some of whom are pedigree registered. We also have several domestic horses and ponies.
We’ve owned the bulk of the farm since the late 1980s when it was acquired by my father as a "pick your own" fruit farm, hence the name. But this activity was discontinued well over 20 years ago. One 20 acre field is let from a large landowning family and has been on the same tenancy agreement since 1997.
We don't use any chemical fertilisers or sprays on the farm and haven’t done so in well over 15 years.