Farming on the Estate continues to make an important contribution to the rural economy, our landscape and the environment, while supporting many livelihoods and local communities. More than 70% of the Estate comprises farmland, much of this has been occupied by the same families for many generations.
Englefield Home Farms is our in-hand 2,000 acre mixed livestock and arable farm which manages the land around Englefield village.
Through a joint venture with skilled arable contractors HBH (Farming) Ltd, we specialise in producing combinable arable crops such as wheat, barley and oats. These grains are predominately used for making bread, biscuits and animal feed. We also grow oilseed rape which is used for cooking and biodiesel production. In addition to the core task of food production, we are committed to managing a landscape that is rich in wildlife. Our Home Farms have been entered into a Higher Level Countryside Stewardship scheme for some years as part of our award winning ground bird nesting project.
Our prize winning herd of pedigree Hereford Cattle was established in 2009, and our suckler cows complement crop production to provide a balanced and productive system of farming. Crop by-products such as straw provide bedding and feed for the cattle, and in return, they provide manure to maintain soil structure and fertility. To find out more about the Englefield Herefords click the link below.
The Estate relies on experienced farm tenants to manage the majority of the Estate’s farmland across 23 let farms. These farms are mixed livestock and arable farms but, increasingly, our tenants are choosing to diversify by bringing additional income to the farm from a range of enterprises including B&B, horse livery and commercial storage.
Tenant farmers are also innovating using precision technology to ensure targeted use of inputs and also working together to make their businesses more efficient. In the case of Foundry Farming, this involves a joint venture between three farming families on the Estate to pool labour and machinery across a larger acreage and to provide services to other farmers.
As part of our commitment to a viable farming community, the Estate encourages enterprises such as these where they do not compromise the core agricultural business. Some examples of successful diversification by tenant farmers can be seen here: