Why there's no stopping Welbeck’s farm team
19 May 2020
Extreme rainfall followed by the coronavirus lockdown has given the farming industry a steady stream of challenges since the beginning of the year.
But it’s not stopped the team whose job it is to farm on the Welbeck estate. They continue to work flat out to produce food on the land just as others have done for centuries before them on the historic estate.
Today Welbeck is very much a working estate producing milk, cheese, bread, and real ale as well as supplying meat reared on the estate’s pastures. The Welbeck estate has sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, and livestock including its own herd of 250 pedigree dairy cows.
The agricultural team at Welbeck Home Farm, meanwhile, manages a further 4,000 acres of farmland that straddles the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire countryside.
The Home Farm team of six, managed by Ray Beck, grow a wide range of produce for sale on the open market, along with feed and bedding for livestock on the estate. Across the arable farm, crops harvested range from maize, spring and winter barley, beans, carrot, forage maize, and oil seed rape to winter oats, sugar beet, and potatoes.
The farm is a member of LEAF, an assurance scheme which shows that food has been grown sustainably and with care for the environment. The scheme aims to enrich the environment and work with the local community.
Farming with care
It is also a member of the Red Tractor scheme, which champions food and drink that has been produced by UK farms to high quality standards and farmed with care. It ensures that customers can then make informed choices about the food they buy.
Each year is different for the team and this one has already been one to remember, says Ray.
After the winter rainfall came one of the driest Aprils on record along with the pandemic lockdown, which meant that they had to adjust their usual working practice to conform with guidelines and social distancing measures.
Working long and hard, they’ve been able to complete the cultivating and sowing of the remaining hectares and now they're set to work flat out to prepare for the months ahead.