Inside Welbeck - Welbeck Home Farm
08 July 2014
Working across 15,000 acres of stunning Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire countryside, Ray Beck and his team manage 4,000 acres of farmland, most of which has been farmed by the Estate for centuries.
To this day arable farming remains one of the main agricultural activities on the Estate, with a wide range of crops grown for sale on the open market and as feed and bedding for Welbeck livestock. The Home Farm team take great pride in their arable activities and were delighted to win the highest award in this year’s Nottinghamshire Grassland Society’s annual silage competition. The Estate’s tradition of dairy farming also carries on today. A closed herd of Friesian Holstein dairy cows at Collingthwaite Farm produces milk which is used in the production of the award-winning Stichelton cheese, made here on the Welbeck Estate and sold in the Welbeck Farm Shop.
Last year, the Home Farm team achieved their LEAF Marque certification. LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) promotes sustainable food and farming, helping farmers grow good food produced to a high environmental standard. Last month, Welbeck Home Farm held their first LEAF Open Farm Sunday, showcasing their activities to the public and raising over £1200, for local charities. Having received extremely positive feedback to the open day, the team hopes to repeat the event next year.
What other future developments does Welbeck’s Home Farm team envision? They trust that their continued work with LEAF will help them develop an education programme, teaching young people about farming and food production. The team is also looking at ways to switch to more environmentally friendly sources of energy. This aspiration has already become reality as last month solar panels were installed on Home Farm barns to power The School of Artisan Food. Other future goals include expanding their environmental conservation work with Natural England and investing in the latest technologies to improve arable crop production on the Estate.