2023 Field Day


Fir Farm, Rectory Farm, Lower Swell, Cheltenham.

Fir Farm Ltd.

Rectory Farm, Lower Swell, Cheltenham, Glos. GL54 1LH

Fir Farm was purchased by Sir Alan and Lady Parker in 2012 and started organic conversion in 2018 achieving full Soil Association Certification in 2020.

David Wilson was appointed Farm Manager in 2021 and a joint venture was set up with David, Luke and Benj Wilson in the same year. The farm operates a mixed rotational farming system over half the land with the other half in permanent pasture some of which is very diverse.

Farm enterprises include 40 Red Poll cows in an ultralow input dairy, 30 Sussex Suckler cows, 600 mainly Lleyn breeding ewes but including 80 Hebrideans and a mixture of heritage grains for human consumption. The aim of the farm is to become net zero in the shortest possible time whilst producing both good quality food and a healthy farm environment. A core farm belief is that both of these elements should be compatible and not seen as separate.

Fir Farm’s Horestone Herd of Red Poll cows was established little over 2 years ago with foundation stock bought from Alan and Jane Hewson’s Ironstone Herd as well as cattle from the Cools Herd owned by Quentin and Maggie Edwards. The herd produces milk for direct sales through vending machines and cheese making is on the near horizon.

At present the herd sire is Pinguis Jacob who was bred in the Pinguis Herd of John Williams but is 100% Boseley Breeding, his dam Boseley Poppy 44th being purchased by John when the Boseley Herd was dispersed. His sire is Boseley Buccaneer a son of Mistley Linking Licias. This makes him a 100% dairy bred Red Poll. There are 18 of his heifers being reared which will enter the herd in due course with all the cows back in-calf to him again.

There are several Hotels and Bed & Breakfast accommodation in the area, particularly in Stow-on-the-Wold, which is the nearest town. However they look quite expensive so I think the best thing to do is to look for yourselves if you are thinking of staying and making a weekend of the occasion.

Ray Bowler – Society Secretary

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