Abbey Home Farm
Will and Hilary Chester-Master took over the management of the farm from Will's family in 1990 and set about establishing an organic system of farming from day one. They are are both totally committed to organic practices and are striving to make Abbey Home Farm a truly sustainable place, both environmentally and financially.
Will is the general overseer of the land, including the many woods on the farm, and takes children around the farm on school visits.
Hilary is founding director of the organic farm shop, cafe, the green room, the vegetable garden and The Farm Project.
John Newman has been at the farm since being appointed farm manager in 1992, looking after the daily agricultural management of the farm (and is the public face of the farm on radio and television!).
The 650 hectare farm is registered with the Soil Association Symbol Scheme and hosts regular educational visits and farm walks. The farm was awarded The Organic Food Awards Producer Of The Year 1999 and The Organic Farm Shop was Organic Retailer Of The Year 2000. Both the farm and the shop were Highly Commended in the 2001 Organic Food Awards. The farm shop was awarded a national Environmental Award for the second time in January 2012. In 2017 the farm shop was a finalist in the BBC Food and Farming Awards
The farm, the garden, the shop and the cafe would not run without the other members of the team. There are at present approx 40 people involved, working here in all sorts of capacities, some full time, many part time, from many different backgrounds, but with common links: a passion for local and organic food, high animal welfare, caring for the environment and protecting our wildlife.
Dairy – 40 cows, principally Dairy Shorthorns and their young stock
Beef - 20 cows, a commercial suckler herd of Aberdeen Angus Cross and Shorthorn cows bred with a Beef Shorthorn bull producing quality finishing stock. We also produce beef calves to finish from some of our dairy cows.
Sheep - closed flock of 500 Lleyn and Lleyn Cross ewes and producing lamb and breeding replacements
Pigs - Hampshire x Landrace and Glos Old Spot breeding sows, 2 boars & their progeny
Poultry - egg production (350 hens) and meat birds (4 flocks of 170 birds)
Cereals - 300ha
Vegetable Production - 10ha - over 150 varieties of veg, soft fruit, flowers and herbs.
The Organic Farm Shop and Cafe is Abbey Home Farm's own primary market selling some of everything that we produce on the farm. We process our milk and all poultry on site so you can be assured that when you buy from us at the farm shop, the only miles our vegetables, poultry and dairy have travelled are the miles in your car back to your kitchen. We use a local SA approved abattoir to process our pigs, sheep, and beef cattle. In additional to selling through the shop, we also sell some of our milk, meats and cereal to the national organic market:
- Beef and lamb through the Organic Livestock Co-Operative
- Cereals through Organic Arable (founder member)
- Milk through OMSCo (founder member)
- OELS/HLS Environmental Stewardship Agreement in place since 2006, currently in Higher and Mid-Tier agreements
- Bird habitats and feed sources, beetle banks, pond restoration and management, permanent headland margins,
- Preservation of archaeological features, enhanced hedgerow management
- Management of SSSI Jurassic limestone to conserve wild flowers and grasses
- 4,500 m of hedgerows established since 1998
- Cotswold dry stone wall restoration