We have a suckler beef herd. The herd is in-housed in winter but is outside from spring until late autumn. Calves stay with their mothers until they are weaned. The majority of the herd are pedigree Herefords.
We have a flock of commercial sheep (mainly mules) some pedigree Teeswaters (now a rare breed) and Jacob sheep (plus a few horned hill sheep and a couple of Herdwicks). Almost all the pedigree lambs are retained or sold for breeding.
We have a 11 chickens (cannot really be called an enterprise as we don't sell the eggs). Barton Blues (blue eggs) White Star (white eggs) Blue Laced Wyandottes (medium brown eggs) Araucana (olive green eggs) and Cuckoo Marans (dark brown eggs) and Gold Laced Orpingtons (tinted eggs).
The land (350 acres) varies from the relatively good but wet meadow land near the main road/A591 (Ings means water meadows) to the rough pasture almost fell land. At the highest point (Grandsire) there are lovely views of the surrounding area from the high fells to Windermere Lake and, on a very clear day, it is possible to see the sea (Morecambe Bay).
The River Gowan is a tributary of the River Kent, large parts of which are designated as a Special Area of Conservation. Species include Atlantic salmon, sea trout, white clawed native crayfish and freshwater mussels. Kendal (Kent Dale) sits astride the River Kent before it flows down to the Kent Estuary, with the nearby nationally important Leighton Moss (of Bittern fame).
There is an area of species rich ancient bog on the farm which, along with a number of rare species of moss and sedge, is host to the Bird's Eye Primrose in late spring. It comes alive with butterflies in summer. Much of our farm is in a Higher Level Stewardship agreement.
The farm is host to an abundance of wildlife - red deer, foxes and rabbits. Badgers and hares are regular visitors as are roe deer, stoat and weasel.
Birds - include red start, red kite, curlew, oyster catcher, snipe, woodpecker, tawny owl, little owl, barn owls (which have successfully hatched chicks), kingfisher and dipper on the river.
There are miles of species rich hedge on the farm which are layed by hand every six or seven years and trimmed in between whiles.
Keeping on top of the miles of the dry stone wall on the farm is a job in itself - gaps appear regularly (in recent years the red deer and the bull have been responsible for some of the damage).
There are several acres of broad-leaved woodland on the farm. Despite our best efforts regeneration levels are poor, mainly because of the number of deer that visit, especially in the winter months.
In one field alone we have the following species: Bog Pimpernel, Bog Asphodel, Devils Bit Scabious, Tormentil, Birds Eye Primrose, Common Butterwort, Creeping Heath, Buttercup, Self Heal, Grass of Parnassus, Ladidy's Bedstraw, Lady's Smock, Common Marsh Bedstraw, Brooklime, Cranberry, Meadow Sweet, Water Mint, Greater Bird's Foot Trefoil, Marsh Marigold, Ragged Robin, Sneezewort, Knapweed, Willowherb, Marsh Violet, Forget-me-knot, Northern Hawkweed.
We also have a one off bespoke luxury shepherds hut. It has a full kitchen, king size bed and double shower. Eco friendly, made with reclaimed timber and insulated with sheep's wool. On edge of the farm yard by a small stream - it really is very special!