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7th January 2020 I am happy to say that the photos have returned to this page! Im off out now to move some Belted Galloway heifers, so watch this space for some January news coming soon! @i...Read this entry.

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Weve bred our own pigs in the past but the last of them, Polly and Spot left us a couple of months ago. This week I collected four weaners from Oaklands Farm, they are all gilts and a cross bet...Read this entry.

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14th July 2016 Our most recent farm assessment has been for the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge and Im proud to say that we have been successful in ...Read this entry.

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10th October 2015 Christopher was invited back to compete in the 2015 National Ploughing Match in Kent which was a little too far to drive our little red tractor, so it took a ride on a trailer. ...Read this entry.

20th September 2015 A week is a long time in politics and farming. Jeremy Corbyn has appointed Kerry McCarthy as the Labour spokesman on farming, environment and rural affairs and as Karl S...Read this entry.

6th September 2015 The mist burnt off well today as seen in the earlier post at Manor Farm, Wotton, and it has been a fine day for harvesting at Manor Farm, Shalford. It was a pleasure to mee...Read this entry.

6th September 2015 Mist in the valley, very early in the morning and no cars on the road yet; it feels like the countryside should do, just for an hour or two! What I find amazing is tha...Read this entry.

28th August 2015 The combine began to roll again this afternoon, but only for thirty minutes before a rock was taken up into the header and broke the chains; a clutch is meant to prevent that f...Read this entry.

28th August 2015 One of our agronomists is here providing feed-back on the protein levels, bushel weight and hagbers of the Skyfall, Vulkan and Crusoe wheat harvested to date; all are top notch...Read this entry.

16th August 2015 Its that time of year when ploughmen and women across the UK are entering this seasons ploughing matches and we are fortunate in Surrey to have Mick and Janet Hill organisi...Read this entry.

9th August 2015 It feels like a late start for harvest in many areas and we are about two weeks behind due to a few break downs and a day of road closures which all add up at this critical time...Read this entry.

27th July 2015 Harvest 2015 has begun. Laurence began combining the Vulkan milling wheat in the Paddock and Middle West. The trailers are filled with grain and transported back to th...Read this entry.

26th July 2015 The service of the combine harvester only began in July and unfortunately wasnt completed in time to begin harvesting the wheat last week. The main body was more or less se...Read this entry.

25th July 2015 Wotton House For generations the Evelyn and Matthews family have provided the venue for the Wotton Flower show and the church fete as well as providing parking in the meadow fo...Read this entry.

21st July 2015 I begin my latest news back in time about 70 years After the Second World War Edward (EDG) Matthews harvested the arable crops with a horse drawn reaper (later pulled by a tra...Read this entry.

6th July 2013 We recently visited the Royal Agricultural University at Cirencester and on Sunday visited Harper Adams University both of which offer fantastic Agricultural courses. Travellin...Read this entry.

3rd July 2015 It is good to be able to use UK products, design and build for the grain store. The frame is up and the concrete sectional walls are being inserted. ...Read this entry.

2nd July 2015 The building of the new grainstore frame began today. If all goes according to the schedule we will have have greatly improved storage ready for harvest 2015. ...Read this entry.

30th June 2015 Its that time of year again for harvest preparation.The grain stores are dusted down and vacuumed out and the combine harvester is cleaned inside and out and serviced in readiness...Read this entry.

31st May 2015 The peas have established better than we might have hoped, probably due to the various scarecrows and bird scarers in place across the fields. Some of them take human form and look fa...Read this entry.

28th May 2015 A good strong breeze over the past few days has been beneficial to the Lucerne crop prior to cutting today. There is a mower on the front of the tractor and one to the rear rig...Read this entry.

1st May 2015 It has been a tough week for Christophers sheep. They have been attacked by a dog and left for dead in the field. The results of the attack are shown below so please dont look if ...Read this entry.

28th March 2015 It has been a busy few months of field work and maintenance for the next cycle of crops, while grain from last season is gradually sold. 120 tonnes of maize grain has been sold to ou...Read this entry.

18th January 2015 Ed has been ploughing the fields along Whitedown prior to cultivation for peas and now that the fodder beet has been lifted at Paddington he will plough those fields for the next r...Read this entry.

5th January 2015 Farming has continued throughout the festive season with livestock to feed, bed-up and check and water troughs to be de-iced. We have also been harvesting maize which has...Read this entry.

16th December 2014 Eighty acres of fodder beet were planted this year and 630tonnes have been lifted from the first twenty acres. We feed the fodder beet to the cattle as part of their...Read this entry.

19th October 2014 Five home bred Belted Galloway heifers were due to calve from mid September. So far we have four male calves and one female so Im hoping the last will also be a heifer. ...Read this entry.

9th September 2014 With this glorious sunshine its difficult to remember that two weeks ago there was enough rain to prevent us drilling the final 200 acres of oilseed rape. On the fields we did ...Read this entry.

25th August 2014 We have 500 acres of oil seed rape to drill but due to the big Claas tractor breaking down last week we still have 150 acres to get in the ground. The soil is cultivated and t...Read this entry.

24th August 2014 The tail end of hurricane Bertha drenched the crops for a couple of days and made harvest difficult for almost a week. Laurence managed to cut 20 acres of wheat on the Wednesday aft...Read this entry.

17th August 2014 The Crusoe milling wheat has had record yields fairly consistently across 230 acres, with over four tonnes per acre which is good for our soil. It was coming off the field l...Read this entry.

5th August 2014 Triticale was harvested yesterday and completed this morning; with 150 tonne of triticale off 53 acres according to the meter reading in the combine. After a quick bite t...Read this entry.

31st July 2014 A report of cattle being seen on Whitedown Road at lunchtime on Monday and the discovery of two smashed field gates on National Trust downland where 21 of our Belted Galloways had bee...Read this entry.

18th July 2014 At 3 tonne per acre, the remaining barley at Hackhurst yielded well and 232 tonnes was sold forward in April. 673 bales of barley straw have been cleared from the fields, stacked and ...Read this entry.

12th July 2014 Three years ago we sowed 50 acres of grass for herbage seed. The yields have not been good and the first two years made a loss. Rather than take a third consecutive loss on the see...Read this entry.

8th July 2014 Our next Belted Galloway Beef is available 14th July, please ordered in advance at: The Beltie beef is dry-aged for four weeks to concentrate the natural...Read this entry.

28th May 2014 It was another great day at the Surrey County Show and all credit should go to the livestock exhibitors who put tremendous effort into the preparation of the cattle, sheep, pigs and po...Read this entry.

25th May 2014 Preparation for the Surrey County Show is in full swing and our kit has been driven over to the showground this afternoon in two convoys, this creates quite a buzz as everyone muc...Read this entry.

22nd May 2014 The Surrey County Show will be held at Stoke Park in Guildford on Bank holiday Monday. This year a feature of the show will be the impact of World War 1 on farming. The annual ...Read this entry.

30th April 2014 Weve had a beautiful day and fantastic visit to the farm by 36 children, teachers and parents of Year 2 Oasis Academy Johanna, a primary school in the centre of London. Whilst being...Read this entry.

20th April 2014 What began as a throat infection the last night I was in the lambing shed, soon became worse as we took three finished pigs down to the abattoir early one morning and brought the...Read this entry.

3rd April 2014 The fields, woodland and North Downs were shrouded in creeping smog which spread in over the landscape from late afternoon; it was quite an eerie sensation as the sunlight was blocked...Read this entry.

16th March 2014 We have glorious sunshine and blue sky for the Society of Ploughmen Judges Seminar at Raikes farm. Ploughmen have travelled from far and wide to do the ploughing which will th...Read this entry.

8th March 2014 The months of rain and wind have battered more than just buildings and barns but also the spirit of everyone soldiering on outdoors; work is so much harder in relentlessly bad weather...Read this entry.

6th March 2014 New Friesian x calves have been coming in over the last ten days which was perfect timing for a coach full of children from St. Judes school, London who visited Manor Farm on Tue...Read this entry.

23rd February 2014 Its a busy few weeks for the vet, with the bull fertility test last week and our four yearly TB testing in a weeks time which will be over two days; 72 hours apart. T...Read this entry.

11th February 2014 Flood stricken farms; what can we do to help? I spoke to Robert Venner at Sedgemoor Market over the weekend and he said that livestock from six farms had already been evacu...Read this entry.

10th February 2014 We have some new Friesian calves due in soon and they will need the barn in which the Belted Galloway cows have been housed for the last fortnight since their calves were...Read this entry.

1st February 2014 The Surrey Hedgelaying Group were out in force today; laying a predominantly Hazel hedge with a few Elms that have not succumbed to Elm disease. The hedge is left to grow u...Read this entry.

29th January 2014 The sunshine yesterday was wonderful with just a few chilly intermittent showers which I managed to dodge whilst cleaning out and bedding up the three little pigs. The piglets...Read this entry.

25th December 2013 Happy Christmas to one and all and happy birthday to everyone born on Christmas day, particularly Dale from Autoagritech who is 34 today! Here is Dale fixing the li...Read this entry.

24th December 2013 The weather forecast was spot on for yesterday and the damage around here was much greater than the storm a couple of weeks ago, with dozens of fallen trees making the journey to ...Read this entry.

9th December 2013 The fodder beat harvester has a puncture, but it was impossible to jackup in the field whilst there was still fodder beat in the tank. With the beat now unloaded, this huge tyre s...Read this entry.

28th November 2013 Nine cows with calves at foot broke free last week and headed out of Paddington onto the A25. The cattle were moving at a determined pace and despite all our efforts, Ed and ...Read this entry.

18th November 2013 It has taken 5 days without rain before the tractors could get onto the ground north of the railway at Park Farm. The ground here is very heavy and hard to work and it block...Read this entry.

11th November 2013 News Flash! We have a surprise calf born today in the Cressbeds! The 100th Belted Galloway born on the farm. When Eleanor wasnt in calf at the time of pregnancy diagnos...Read this entry.

3rd November 2013 Its been a busy few weeks and the storm on Monday added to the work load, with trees down and the electricity off for almost 9 hours. We managed to use a generator to run one of t...Read this entry.

19th October 2013 Christopher completed the Surrey ploughing match season with two matches in one weekend; Ripley and Chertsey. He won the novice class at Chertsey which helped to place him fourth o...Read this entry.

29th September 2013 Christopher had a very good day at the Surrey County Agricultural Ploughing Match at Loseley Park and was delighted to be awarded the Lord Bennett Memorial Perpetual Challen...Read this entry.

28th September 2013 Ashburnham Community School made another visit to the farm recently with a group of 6-7 year olds. Mr.Acharya is a new teacher at the school and it was great to see his enthusia...Read this entry.

21st September 2013 Harvest 2013 is not quite complete; with 180 acres of oilseed rape which wont be ready for another 3-4 weeks. This will take about three days and then the combine harvester will ...Read this entry.

2nd September 2013 Having spent the morning strimming grass, Im now enjoying the sunshine as I write this in the garden. The last few days of harvest have at times been very stop-start. ...Read this entry.

21st August 2013 Laurence has survived the herbage seed harvesting, but he may have gained a few grey hairs! The next destination for the herbage seed is a seed cleaning plant wher...Read this entry.

16th August 2013 Donald and Ed cleared the barley straw from fields at Shalford and Raikes and Amanda worked with Donald yesterday afternoon to get the last of the wheat bales in at Wo...Read this entry.

11th August 2013 This field of Gallant wheat at Manor Farm was looking very good in the middle of June and gave hope of a good harvest. The wildlife headland in the foreground provided fo...Read this entry.

11th August 2013 3.15pm. Apart from an earlier shower, today is set fine for harvesting with sunshine and a breeze. However our new (second hand) combine harvester which arrived in May, was leaki...Read this entry.

10th August 2013 The first signs from harvesting the barley is that yields are significantly down but the straw is of good quality. The square baler has worked behind the combine at Shalford and the...Read this entry.

20th July 2013 Laurence is travelling to Paraguay for the 16th International Oilseed Producers Dialogue (IOPD), representing the National Farmers Union along with Guy Gagen who is Chief Combinable C...Read this entry.

16th July 2013 The crops looked pretty good throughout June but are now beginning to suffer as they run out of water. The wheat is in its third growth stage; the production phase which lasts f...Read this entry.

27th June 2013 Another exciting day on the farm; finally Yvette has calved, having looked fit to pop for at least a fortnight, whereas Snowflake barely looked pregnant and she calved last Friday! ...Read this entry.

13th June 2013 Were nearly half way through another year but not half way through calving! Our pedigree Belties are in three calving groups this year. The heifers at Raikes Farm have give...Read this entry.

16th May 2013 Its a stunning day and Im working along a hedgerow in Homefield. As the weather tries to emulate summer the birds are singing their hearts out in the sunshine but struggling to rise abo...Read this entry.

27th April 2013 Wotton Lily gave birth to a heifer calf yesterday, named Spring. Here are a few Photos of the event. Water bag appears and feet emerge The last few contractions and th...Read this entry.

23rd April 2013 The last fortnight has seen a transition from winter to spring. Noticeably in the air with flocks of Redwing leaving our fields and hedgerows and returning to their summer breeding g...Read this entry.

15th April 2013 Before we agree to any filming we check what the footage will be used for as we naturally dont wish to be used or misinterpreted in any way. So, we double checked today that the piec...Read this entry.

15th April 2013 Mark Thompson a freelance photographer has been filming at Manor Farm today. Mark had to rush back to London to edit his footage and compile a background piece for Jeremy Paxman who...Read this entry.

11th April 2013 Hugo the Hampshire Down ram has sired seven very good sized lambs which were all born close together last week. Unfortunately two ewes gave birth to one live and one dead lamb each ...Read this entry.

30th March 2013 Despite the temperature just creeping above freezing, it felt positively balmy working in the sunshine yesterday! Today we are back to grey skies and snow flurries that are noth...Read this entry.

12th March 2013 After a couple of weeks of slightly milder weather, snowdrops and daffodils are beginning to flower. On Friday we were drenched in a constant rain and chilly wind as the last few cow...Read this entry.

19th February 2013 We handle the suckler herd on a fairly regular basis during routine jobs such as weighing or checking ear tags. The cattle become more familiar with a coral, cattle crush and tr...Read this entry.

15th February 2013 The breeding cows and the bull have had their feet trimmed to ensure they are sound for the coming year. Christophers Hampshire Down sheep have been in their own winte...Read this entry.

24th January 2013 As a snow blizzard drove westward across the fields yesterday, wildlife tucked itself away in the hedgerows, woodland and undergrowth around the farm for shelter and protection fro...Read this entry.

17th January 2013 Its been a quiet start to the year with the usual feeding and checking livestock, bedding up for those in barns and breaking ice in water troughs. Weve been rel...Read this entry.

16th December 2012 The weather has continued to play its part in delaying and affecting crop production and harvesting throughout the UK. The fodder beet has just been lifted by a local contr...Read this entry.

23rd November 2012 Its fantastic weather if you are a fish or duck, but really quite awful for those people living near water or working on land just at the moment, especially with more heavy rain fo...Read this entry.

23rd October 2012 We woke to another wet and murky day but that didnt seem to bother the eighteen heifers and steers which we brought off the downs, weighed and divided into two groups; heavier ...Read this entry.

22nd October 2012 Its been a hectic start to the week. The dogs fetched up the Belted Galloways from the field opposite Abinger Hall and moved them along the track and behind the Cressbeds. There ...Read this entry.

31st August 2012 Laurence managed to combine wheat at Comb Farm for just two hours on Wednesday before the rain swept in horizontally from the west. The moisture content had been about 18% until ...Read this entry.

23rd August 2012 Although we tried to make a start with the wheat at Park Farm, it isnt ready and probably needs another week or more to ripen, however thats rather difficult without sunshine! ...Read this entry.

18th August 2012 A small chip inside a graphics panel recently brought my computer to a grinding halt but I must say its been great to return to those pre-computer days and regain all those extra ho...Read this entry.

21st July 2012 Harvest began this evening in a field of barley battered by rain and eaten by rooks and crows. The scarecrows were removed from the field by Will, Christopher and Grandad. ...Read this entry.

17th July 2012 Thanks to all our Beltie beef customers for collecting their boxes of beef today. A few of the 24 boxes filled today The Belted Galloway cattle graze on the herb rich down...Read this entry.

16th July 2012 Preparations for harvest have been underway for a few weeks, with trailers being serviced and the grain stores being dusted down and vacuumed! Since January half of the storage bins ...Read this entry.

20th May 2012 Its been a few weeks of births and deaths, all part of farming life but never the less quite sad when a calf or lamb doesnt make it or when a pheasant whos minding its own business is ...Read this entry.

29th April 2012 I am pleased to have discovered Mike Jory an artist whose vibrant livestock paintings captured my imagination last year; so much so that I commissioned Mike to paint something unique ...Read this entry.

23rd April 2012 One of the Hampshire Down sheep had twins late this afternoon; the first lamb presented well, with his head and two front feet coming out first. This ram lamb was up on his feet fai...Read this entry.

22nd April 2012 We had a call from our local bee man, Paul wondering whether wed like to be involved in the Countryfile programme this week. The researcher had a long conversation with Laurence but ...Read this entry.

12th April 2012 Easter was quiet here with just the surprise arrival of six chicks! One of the hens has sat on a clutch of eggs for three weeks at a secret location somewhere in the garden; I s...Read this entry.

25th March 2012 Christopher checked the conformation of the ewes beneath the thick fleece and noted that the girl carrying triplets needs additional rations (not the one hes marking below!). They...Read this entry.

3rd March 2012 March 1st was a beautiful spring day and saw the safe arrival of the very first calf sired by Carsluith Ethelred, our Belted Galloway bull. This is a Harriet with her well mark...Read this entry.

22nd February 2012 In January I mentioned the emergence of Schallenberg Virus in the east of England, however the numbers of farms and counties affected have risen every week since then, rising to 7...Read this entry.

26th February 2012 I remember Laurence upgrading part of the grain store at West Lane about twenty years ago; its the oldest grain store on the farm and sometimes struggles to keep a pace with the g...Read this entry.

6th February 2012 Sunday was perfectly peaceful, with enough snow to create a beautiful winter landscape and prevent the A25 being used as the usual weekend race track. The Hampshire ...Read this entry.

4th February 2012 Weve had snow falling for a couple of hours and although its settling, its nothing significant. The media build up has been over the top once again, simply because snow is forecas...Read this entry.

24th January 2011 Great Britain was officially declared to be free from Bluetongue in July 2011 after a concerted effort by livestock farmers to vaccinate against BTV8 which was spreading across par...Read this entry.

15th January 2012 For a while, Christophers been saving up to buy his own sheep and yesterday we drove to Hampshire with our friend Paul to collect a small flock of registered Hampshire Dow...Read this entry.

12th January 2012 Christmas and New Year are generally quiet on the farm, with a pause in arable work and a couple of staff on holiday. This left the feeding and checking of livestock which was rout...Read this entry.

10th December 2011 Park Phoenix served our cows in two goups, the first group of twelve have all calved and are now at Hackhurst and the second group of seven at Churchfield began calving last week. ...Read this entry.

7th December 2011 Its a cold blustery day, excellent for blowing away the cobwebs and bringing out the woolly hat for the first time this winter! Weve seen a couple of snowflakes in the last two day...Read this entry.

27th October 2011 With a few staff away this week, Sams been looking after young stock and keeping an eye on the Galloways, Luke spent a couple of hours each morning feeding the older cattle and Da...Read this entry.

7th October 2011 Yesterday didnt go according to plan at all, but some days are like that I suppose. We were going to start by bringing in a group of Belted Galloways that had started to ca...Read this entry.

3rd October 2011 When the boys were younger I used to take them out to the harvest fields to see Laurence, otherwise theyd see very little of him for three months. Laurence would stop for a bite to...Read this entry.

2nd October 2011 Weve had a beautiful start to the day with mist rolling along the valley and the sun breaking through as I fed and watered the pigs. Im waiting for Polly to farrow. Her estimated ...Read this entry.

14th August 2011 After animals were checked first thing this morning, all work was suspended for four hours as the Olympic practice, cycle event took place alongside the farm. Spectators were ente...Read this entry.

29th July 2011 To avoid traffic, Laurence was up at 4.30am Wednesday morning to move the combine to Shalford but didnt actually start harvesting there until later in the morning, finishing relatively...Read this entry.

24th July 2011 The combine harvester has been cleaned by four of the car wash crew from town and theyve made a pretty good job of it in 18 man hours! The combine is washed under the side pan...Read this entry.

12th July 2011 I recently spent a fascinating evening at Plumpton College of Agriculture for a course in Herd Fertility. The conference room was filled with farmers from the south east, gathered to...Read this entry.

7th July 2011 Yesterday evening saw approximately 150 farmers and their friends and helpers descend upon us for a farm tour. The event was organised by the Redhill branch of the National Far...Read this entry.

3rd July 2011 Having borrowed an incubator a couple of months ago, we tried to hatch out some Silver Appleyard duck eggs, but were unsuccessful the first time around. It was worth another try, ...Read this entry.

1st July 2011 If youve noticed an unusual looking crop in nearby fields, its the hemp which were growing for GOOD Oil; a natural and pure culinary oil of cold pressed hemp seed which is sold in lead...Read this entry.

10th June 2011 We have finally had a good downpour of rain, with 32ml being recorded on 5th June and a further 6ml in the last five days. However the damage to the crops has already been done; they...Read this entry.

20th May 2011 A few weeks ago we received a call from one of our Landlords to say that horses had been unlawfully put in a field we rent over at Normandy. Fences were taken down and gates remove...Read this entry.

24th April 2011 In this weather the pig wallows need to be topped up regularly to provide the pigs with a cool and relaxing place to lie. The mud acts as a sun screen for pigs; this is particular...Read this entry.

10th April 2011 Spring is a very busy time on the farm and at home. Over the last month or so the Friesian x cattle have been weighed and sorted and a number of them sold as store cattle at mar...Read this entry.

26th March 2011 Its the time of year to muck out cattle sheds and spread muck on fields before cultivation; a traditional farming technique undertaken for hundreds of years designed to recycle nu...Read this entry.

17th March 2011 The temperature rose 6deg; and the sun shone on Tuesday bringing with it my first Brimstone butterfly sightings of the year. As if to mirror the butterflies or not to be out-...Read this entry.

3rd March 2011 Hundreds of pig farmers are descending on Westminster today in a bid to raise awareness of the desperate crisis in the pig industry. Unlike the French who seem to stand u...Read this entry.

2nd March 2011 The past six days have been hectic and theres still quite a stretch to the weekend. I bought four Saddleback weaners on Friday, drove to Scotland to look at a bull on Satu...Read this entry.

21st February 2011 With Christopher off rugby with a broken collarbone, he took the opportunity to coax Laurence out into the rain over the last couple of weekends to repair the pig fence. Chris...Read this entry.

5th February 2011 Cattle are uppermost in our minds at present with the cost of feed rising 100% since last year whilst the price paid per kg deadweight for beef, has dropped another 10%. ...Read this entry.

21st January 2011 Over the winter months, work tends to have a general routine based around cattle and maintenance of machinery and grain stores. Whether it be mucking out a shed, bagging up n...Read this entry.

22nd December 2010 Weve had a few snow showers, but not nearly as much as last February. The main problem on the farm is the continued freezing temperatures and the daily chore of defrosting ev...Read this entry.

1st December 2010 Today began the fifth inspection at Manor Farm since March; we guess this is either very bad luck on our part or that someone is out to get us! This latest inspection has ...Read this entry.

28th November 2010 The cold weather is upon us, but thankfully weve missed the snow which has fallen to the north and west. Everything is frozen so weve reverted to carrying buckets of warm w...Read this entry.

21st October 2010 Today weve woken to our first autumn frost and the rising sun has brought with it an azure blue sky; its a perfect day for working outdoors. A layer of ice on the water t...Read this entry.

7th October 2010 September has been extremely busy on the farm with the main harvest drawing to a close and going straight into seed bed preparation and drilling the new crops. The soil...Read this entry.

8th September 2010 Its been a week of mixed emotions with our pigs, Prudence and Phoebe going off to slaughter and two new calves born yesterday. Ive become quite attached to Prudence and Pho...Read this entry.

26th August 2010 Laurence was asleep and I was finishing paperwork when the phones began to ring just after midnight. Reports from the local gamekeeper that cattle were out at Raikes. Laurenc...Read this entry.

20th August 2010 For a long time the countryside has been littered with the remains of balloons released at events, parties or balloon races, but now its the turn of the Chinese lantern. Toda...Read this entry.

15th August 2010 The weather is now fit for ducks which is perfect, as we recently bought five! ; two Silver Apple-yards and three white laying ducks which are Apple-yards crosses. Weve allow...Read this entry.

10th August 2010 Picture the scene: four very smart gents from SKY TV sheltering from the rain, side by side with our staff in their work gear as Laurence gave them their work for the day. ...Read this entry.

8th August 2010 Recycled paper waste is being spread on local fields over the next couple of days. The company who undertake the work is licensed by the Environment Agency. The paper waste...Read this entry.

30th July 2010 I have just returned from Wales where the temperature was at times, ten degrees lower than here and the grass was green and lush. In comparison our corner of England is suffering...Read this entry.

5th July 2010 The dry weather is causing severe lack of grazing throughout the farm and cattle are being moved in search of anything vaguely green. The Belted Galloways, which looked so at home b...Read this entry.

4th July 2010 It is the end of an era at Manor Farm following the sudden death of Fred Matthews just over a week ago. Fred moved to Manor Farm when he was six years old in 1935, with his mo...Read this entry.

23rd June 2010 Weve been hosting school visits again this year; mainly over the summer term because this makes for an enjoyable learning experience rather than a rain soaked one! This week 2...Read this entry.

18th June 2010 At the Hampton Court Flower Show in three weeks time, the Royal Horticultural Society theme is Home Grown. Part of the RHS display required arable crops to be grown not too f...Read this entry.

8th June 2010 The past few weeks have been busy on and off the farm. Three of the family have spent time in hospital, planned and otherwise; the beef price dropped 10% in a matter of weeks and ...Read this entry.

29th May 2010 Earlier in the year I entered the Bayer Crop Science amp; Farming and Countryside Education Awards 2010. Knowing that the competition will be strong, I am really pleased to have re...Read this entry.

9th May 2010 An enormous amount of livestock and field work has been underway in past weeks and this summers educational visits to Manor Farm have now begun with a visit by 26 children from St.P...Read this entry.

8th May 2010 The extra diligence in the days after farrowing has paid off and Prudence has accepted her piglets and is feeding them all well. Seven days later Phoebe gave birth to thirteen piglet...Read this entry.

17th April 2010 Our sows farrow in barns with plenty of space to move around and a large bed of straw; quite a palace for a pig. This is all very lovely for the sow but can occasionally causes ...Read this entry.

15th April 2010 Based on only one siting of Percy mating with Prudence on 21st December last year, I had roughly calculated that we could see more piglets on the farm any time from 9th April, th...Read this entry.

12th April 2010 A Belted Galloway heifer gave birth to her first calf this afternoon at Hackhurst. From a distance I think it is a bull calf but well know for sure in a day or so when the calf ...Read this entry.

12th April 2010 As the weather has recently improved, things are feeling a bit more upbeat on the farm. The fine conditions have helped to get the tractors back onto the fields and we are pleased...Read this entry.

18th March 2010 Day two of the TB testing has gone very well and I am pleased to report that we had no reactors. So hopefully for the breeding cattle that should be good for another four years. ...Read this entry.

14th March 2010 It has been a week busy with cattle and another coming up. Seventy five calves arrived on farm last week. Each calf was taken to the feeder and given help to find the teat...Read this entry.

9th March 2010 Two lorry loads of oats have been sold to Attlees, so David loaded them up first thing this morning. We have had a recent independant CMi farm inspection and have just re...Read this entry.

7th March 2010 It has been week of voting in the National Farmers Union. Peter Kendall and Meurig Raymond have been emphatically re-elected for further two-year terms as president and deput...Read this entry.

20th February 2010 At Hampton Court Flower Show this year, the Royal Horticultural Society has chosen a home grown theme. Their display will feature a garden, orchard, and traditional hedging a...Read this entry.

10th February 2010 Look out for the launch this week of the 100% British loaf by leading miller, Rank Hovis. Hovis are rolling out a new policy of using only UK - produced red wheat in all i...Read this entry.

9th February 2010 Today was tinged with sadness as it was the funeral of Vi Bullen, who farmed at Swanworth Farm, Mickleham. I first met Vi in 1985 when I worked at Box Hill. Vis husband A...Read this entry.

30th January 2010 Today we were blessed with perfect weather for our winter harvesting of grain maize along the Tillingbourne Valley. Instead of tyres, the combine harvester has rubbe...Read this entry.

24th January 2010 The farm is generally fairly quiet on winter Sundays and we get the chance to watch the boys play rugby and then have the delight of washing their kit yet again. After lunch t...Read this entry.

7th January 2010 Hello! did you bring any food with you? I will re-name Sandy Meadow for the coming weeks as it really should be called Snowy Meadow! As ice breaking commenced at the...Read this entry.

6th January 2010 Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! We had a fairly heavy fall of snow last night which means most work today is livestock related; breaking ice in water troughs, de...Read this entry.

5th January 2010 December has been a month of comings and goings. Lizzie, a visiting sow came for a holiday with our boar Percy whilst Prudence and Phoebe were still busy with their piglets. T...Read this entry.

18th December 2009 A slight flurry of snow fell in the south east last night and it makes National news headlines! How crazy is that? The north has snow every winter and thats barely mentioned. ...Read this entry.

13th December 2009 Its certainly a lot colder out and the wind is picking up, so just the weather to prepare Manor Farm Beltie Beef in Stout. As delicious aromas waft from the kitchen, I am bei...Read this entry.

21st November 2009 Family life swamps me at weekends; washing rugby kit 3 times since Friday, two rugby matches yesterday, food shop, trip to the barber, rugby training today - one in Surrey and...Read this entry.

17th October 2009 All the maize grown this year is goings to make silage. Contractors from Sussex arrived at the crack of sparrows yesterday and began cutting soon after the drizzle stopped fal...Read this entry.

14th October 2009 Sadly Prudence lost one of her strongest piglets through an accident on the day she farrowed, bringing her litter down to 13. This was quite distressing at the time so Ive bee...Read this entry.

9th October 2009 Prudence still hadnt settled down by 2am so I took myself off to bed and left her making a nest of straw in her maternity suite, well thats a barn in pig language. By first lig...Read this entry.

9th October2009 I collected over 2,000 sausages today from Bradfords Farm Butchery. Kathy spent the morning bagging sausages whilst Michael and I cut and wrapped the shoulder and leg joints and...Read this entry.

7th October 2009 This weeks new experience has been learnig how to butcher a pig! I attended a two day pork butchery course along with three other students, at Plumpton College Netherfield, Centr...Read this entry.

28th September 2009 Surrey County Agricultural Society (SCAS) had fabulous weather for their Ploughing Match and Country Fair at Loseley yesterday. Laurence has been a SCAS steward for thirty ye...Read this entry.

26th September 2009 The summer harvest came to a close on September 14th with the harvesting of linseed in Hammer Field. The maize will be harvested in November. It was a tight squeeze d...Read this entry.

11th September 2009 Farm walk details listed below on 6th September. This week may beat all previous stress levels here on the farm, its like waiting for a pressure-cooker valve to release th...Read this entry.

6th September 2009 We are hosting a farm walk - cum talk at Manor Farm, Wotton, RH5 6QF on Saturday 19th September starting at 3pm. Parking will be signed. I will be cook...Read this entry.

29th August 2009 Inevitably breakdowns do occur during summer, our busiest time of year, when machinery can be working throughout the day and into the early hours of morning. However, due to such...Read this entry.

19th August 2009 Laurence drove the combine harvester over to Normandy at 5am and then returned home to prepare a convoy of tractors; one pulling the combine header bar on a trailer an...Read this entry.

8th August 2009 Fortunately Laurence managed to reach the grain drier in the nick of time the other day, it was a slight build up of dust and chaff that was smouldering into a small fire and than...Read this entry.

5th August 2009 Edward was walking home as a storm was breaking overhead and he saw a bolt of lightning strike behind a barn. Whether at that moment or later in the storm, our telephone line an...Read this entry.

15th July 2009 Since March and during about 33 hours, over 305 children (aged 4 10) and teachers have passed through the farm! They have learned many things about livestock and arable farming,...Read this entry.

6th July 2009 Hooray! Its raining at last! Just what our crops needed. The forecast was for rain by midday, but it seemed to have passed us by, with people from all about the south east sa...Read this entry.

2nd July 2009 Our main beef herd arrive on the farm at about ten days old and stay for about two years; these are a mixture of females and castrated males which are not producing calves. The onl...Read this entry.

14th June 2009 As a ribbon of mist hung effortlessly above the valley floor, the sky seemed to be filled with an explosion of the dawn chorus. Owls were still calling as night faded and it seeme...Read this entry.

4th June 2009 Mole Valley Ramblers, undertake regular voluntary work on footpaths in the district and this week they removed a stile by St Johns Church and replaced it with a kissing gate. He...Read this entry.

1st June 2009 Its great to have children who are interested in the countryside, nature and even self sufficiency. Despite the farm business ceasing egg, pork and milk production many years ago,...Read this entry.

28th May 2009 In checking the pig paddock today, Dick found the plastic coating on the electric fence wire has been eaten by rabbits again, so the wire has been replaced and the power switched o...Read this entry.

17th May 2009 Raymond has been drilling maize in the sunshine at Wotton and Abinger over the last week, however this was halted by rain today. Filling the maize drill with seed and drilling t...Read this entry.

7th May 2009 The smiling faces of Granard Primary School Twenty nine boys and girls from Putney, soaked up the sights and sounds of farm and countryside today. They were a super grou...Read this entry.

3rd May 2009 Our farm sometimes feels like an International agricultural hub! It is almost ten years since Matthew Jellie from Australia and Seamus Kenny from Kilkenny, Ireland, found t...Read this entry.

29th April 2009 Today we had a visit from North Primary School, Southall. There were 41 children fascinated by our livestock and the milk mixer, delighted by the calves, piglets, hens and eggs ...Read this entry.

20th April 2009 Yes I know, its been an age since I last wrote! When I created this website there was certainly plenty of farm news, especially in the summer of 2007 and I often found myself wr...Read this entry.

16th March 2009 As soon as we arrived home the boys went out to check and feed the pigs but came running back in shouting Phoebes having her piglets! Phoebe has a litter of nine; four are pink w...Read this entry.

15th March 2009 A tiny wheat germ and shoot As you may have read, the Rooks are systematically munching their way through our Wheat crop. See the holes made by the Rooks as they work...Read this entry.

13th March 2009 In preparation for this years educational school visits I have been updating my display boards, renewing photos and adding captions. Sam and William have cleared up the yard and...Read this entry.

28th February 2009 This was Prudences first farrowing (and mine!) so she was likely to have a smaller litter this time. However the farrowing was much quicker than I had been expecting. ...Read this entry.

27th February 2009 8.45pm the first piglet was born and by 9.40 we had seven! ...Read this entry.

27th February 2009 Last year, Harvey the bull was introduced to our new Belted Galloway cows and when the cows were scanned at Christmas eight were confirmed pregnant. The remaining four were s...Read this entry.

25th February 2009 The farm is a hub of activity now that the weather is milder and the rain has stopped. The field work which has been on hold for weeks is finally under way. We need to get ...Read this entry.

18th February 2009 Mike came along to the farm with a mobile scanner at the weekend and scanned the two Black Berkshire gilts. A female pig becomes a Sow on the birth of her second litter. ...Read this entry.

9th February 2009 What fabulous weather for walking in, its cold and wet and I didnt see another sole in over an hour! Yesterday was so very different, there were people everywhere! I came acros...Read this entry.

2nd February 2009 Being up on a hill, we always tend to get a fair amount of snow when it falls in the south east. Last night was no exception and we have a foot of snow here at Manor Farm. ...Read this entry.

30th January 2009 We have just undergone our annual ACCS inspection here on the farm which is a thorough inspection including spray and fertiliser stores and record keeping, cattle movement book...Read this entry.

19th January 2009 The weather is still affecting work at the moment. After the freezing pipes and hairdryers, came a flurry of snow, just enough for some more sledging for the boys that is, n...Read this entry.

4th January 2009 We get a few days each winter when the water pipes freeze and the frozen water in the troughs must be broken. This morning was particularly bad with everything on the farm froz...Read this entry.

1st January 2009 On top of the everyday running of the farm and the serious job of earning a living, 2008 was an exciting year with educational schools visits to Manor farm, the creation of...Read this entry.

11th December 2008 We are making slow progress with ploughing due to the ground being too wet; just a few fields have been ploughed at Dunsfold and Albury. Maize stubble has been topped off at ...Read this entry.

3rd December 2008 It is a time of paperwork for Laurence and I. James Miller has been with us for another quarterly budget meeting - they seem to come round so quickly, its not true. This entail...Read this entry.

21st November 2008 Over the weekend we had two groups of contractors in the Abinger and Wotton area, one cutting maize and taking it to a silage clamp at Raikes Farm and the other cutting and ca...Read this entry.

12th November 2008 Laurence is up at Stoneleigh today for the National Farmer Union (NFU) National Crops Board Meeting, where members meet from all regions. Amongst the topics being discussed wi...Read this entry.

10th November 2008 It has been a very busy time of late. Last week saw 13 fat cattle going off to slaughter after more than two years on the farm. Ten new calves arrived from a local dairy farm,...Read this entry.

17th October 2008 Con OKelly has started coppicing a Hazel shaw bordering the fields between West Lane and Crossways. There are three areas of coppice we aim to get back into cycle...Read this entry.

5th October 2008 Congratulations must go to Laurence for winning first and third prize for his two entries of maize in the 2008 Surrey County Agricultural Society Crops Competition. Laurence als...Read this entry.

26th September 2008 Thank you to everyone who came on our farm walk this evening, we hope you had an enjoyable time and went away having discovered something new about farming and the countrysid...Read this entry.

26th September 2008 I am preparing for this evenings farm walk which starts at 6.30 at West Lane barns. By then I hope to have the completed Historical information board which I have been workin...Read this entry.

22nd September 2008 We have just been through a rather stressful half an hour. Laurence telephoned Animal Health in order to clarify the Notice sent out at the weekend. The converstation went al...Read this entry.

21st Setember 2008 Two of the cattle on the North Downs indicated a thicker skin measurement during phase two of TB testing. The vet says it is highly unlikely that the calves have contracted TB ...Read this entry.

19th September 2008 The main summer harvest is over. The oats, wheat and spring rape were all in by Wednesday evening and now the sun is shining on a daily basis! Preparing the ground for th...Read this entry.

15th September 2008 Animal Health are TB testing here today. Thirty one animals will be tested over six different sites. The first step is to trim the hair on a small area of the nec...Read this entry.

14th September 2008 The wheat harvest was completed at 1am and after a short sleep laurence headed bac to Dunsfold at 6am to move the combine harvester. It took an hour and a half to drive it back...Read this entry.

13th September 2008 The grain has been coming off the field at over 30% moisture and costing approximately pound;10 per tonne to dry. On some days the combine hasnt started to cut until mid or l...Read this entry.

11th September 2008 One of our boys is doing a weather log over this week for his Geography homework and it is interesting to see how innacurate the forecast has been for our region. Today for i...Read this entry.

10th September 2008 I met with graphic designers today who are producing an historic information board for the farm and the spin off will be a farm leaflet. I had to produce the photos, informat...Read this entry.

4th September 2008 Laurence finally rolled in at 5.30am! He managed to cut the last of Peters wheat before the rain came. The main problem during the night was that the men who were corn carti...Read this entry.

4th September 2008 I have been renewing all the photos on my educational display boards, which took the best part of Wednesday and all evening and I have just sewn the last few name tapes ready f...Read this entry.

30th August 2008 Sunshine in Surrey! Probably the finest and warmest day weve had for harvest 2008. The wheat at Shalford came off at 15.5% and about 3.5 tonnes per acre which is quite...Read this entry.

26th August 2008 EVENING UPDATE - FIRE! As he was combining this afternoon, Laurence smelt smoke and thought there was a bonfire nearby. After a while he saw a fire at the rear of the combi...Read this entry.

26th August 2008 Laurence is one of 11 SE Region farmers who send a weekly harvest reort to the NFU Southern Reion. Only five of the 11 have managed to write their reports this week, however the...Read this entry.

25th August 2008 The last of the fields at Silent Pool were completed this afternoon and now the combine is being prepared for a 5am start tomorrow. Next stop, Shalford. I was intending to...Read this entry.

21st August 2008 Unfortunately rain keeps stopping play Laurence had just 4 acres of wheat left to cut last night to finish a field when it poured with rain yet again. He only got going again a...Read this entry.

18th August 2008 The unexpected heavy rain on Saturday night meant an early morning text to three staff, cancelling the drive across to Shalford with the combine. There was a change of plan, we ...Read this entry.

16th August 2008 The pigs continue to grow ever larger, particularly Percy who is such a softy and still enjoys having his tummy rubbed. Harvest has been stop-start due to the h...Read this entry.

9th August 2008 It is like winter outside, grey and miserable and pouring with rain - quite depressing when the crops are ready to harvest. 1,650 acres of crops to harvest and not one acre c...Read this entry.

7th August 2008 A letter has arrived from DEFRA informing us that 32 of our cattle need to be tested for Bovine Tuberculosis because The listed cattle have been traced from a farm on which bovine...Read this entry.

3rd August 2008 A scene of carnage met us in the hen house and yard yesterday, where we found eight decapitated hens and later three heads in scattered locations. The hen house was a mess of fe...Read this entry.

29th July 2008 It has been a terribly sad day for me because I had to say goodbye to Brock, my faithful friend for the past fifteen years. Three weeks ago he underwent a lengthy op...Read this entry.

28th July 2008 The boys came running to find me this morning to say they had found a fox in the room where the dog sleeps! Its not in the actual house, thank goodness but adjacent to the offic...Read this entry.

18th July 2008 We have put out feelers to buy some more Belted Galloway cattle in order to increase our suckler herd. We spoke to Keith Jempson at the Surrey County Show and he said he would k...Read this entry.

13th July 2008 Hampton Court Flower Show was wet underfoot on Tuesday but the day was at least dry with some sunshine. I was stewarding on the Year of Food and Farming (YOFF) display which was d...Read this entry.

8th July 2008 Having spent hours with the ITV camera crew and the presenter Chris Choy Laurence had given a full and accurate account of the sustainable way in which both food and fuel can be gr...Read this entry.

7th July 2008 Laurence has been asked by the NFU Press Office to do a couple of interviews today in response to the Gallagher Review which examines the environmental case for biofuels. ITN have ...Read this entry.

7th July 2008 The DEFRA website says Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is one of the most difficult animal health problems currently facing the farming industry in Great Britain. The Government is commit...Read this entry.

6th July 2008 Fred used to say to Laurence maize should be up to your knees by July. Well here we are in July and the maize that started off under plastic is now over 5 foot tall - above Lauren...Read this entry.

30th June 2008 The name of a book which our boys have read comes to mind just now, A Series of Unfortunate Events. We had a mixture of unfortunate and fortunate events this morning. To se...Read this entry.

22nd June 2008 This years International Oilseed Producers Dialogue (IOPD) took place in Berlin from 17 - 18 June and Laurence was there representing the National Farmers Union. The annual dialo...Read this entry.

17th June 2008 The maize we planted under plastic in March is now over two feet tall in comparison to maize drilled three weeks ago which is about three inches tall. Maisie, the cow that ...Read this entry.

14th June 2008 In the last 14 years being married to a beef and arable farmer, I havent seen a calf being born because we always buy our beef calves in at about ten days old from local dairy far...Read this entry.

8th June 2008 It is a quiet weekend apart from the usual round of checking livestock and ensuring they all have water in this hot weather. The majority of cattle have received their second d...Read this entry.

5th June 2008 What a glorious day, not flaming June but never the less, the sun is shining and thats a good start. We are vaccinating cattle at Evelyn Cottages and then Upfolds and so long as th...Read this entry.

1st June 2008 Already into the sixth month of the year, time flies too fast! Laurence is sub-soiling at Coast Hill and Tillingbourne, the sub-soiler breaks up the soil below the surface, loosen...Read this entry.

29th May 2008 Surrey County Council (SCC) issued a press statement today but it was embargoed until tomorrow (Thursday) and I wasnt planning to write about it until then. However the BBC is alr...Read this entry.

27th May 2008 The Surrey County Agricultural Society (SCAS) took a huge loss at the County Show in 2007 due to apalling weather, so it was imperitive that the show was a success this year. Sadl...Read this entry.

22nd May 2008 After digging a 400m trench, laying a water line, back-filling and having the water connected, we were ready to move cattle to a field full of lush grass at Upfolds. Expecting a g...Read this entry.

19th May 2008 Much of the same work continues, it may not be exciting to read however it is all crucial farm work. Cattle are being moved from Coast Hill to Raikes Farm and the cattle at Chappel ...Read this entry.

15th May 2008 We have vaccinated just over 500 cattle in the last three days against Bluetongue. It is hard work fetching the cattle into a coral and then running them into the cattle crush, so ...Read this entry.

10th May 2008 Laurence drove the combine harvester to Betchworth very early this morning before many cars were on the roads, in readiness for the Cowpie Rally tomorrow. The Cowpie Rally is in it...Read this entry.

8th May 2008 Its all systems go! Our Bluetongue vaccine is safely in the fridge and we start by injecting 70 cattle with the first of two doses (at 3 week intervals) at Raikes farm this morning...Read this entry.

7th May 2008 1pm. We have had a call from the vet to say that our bluetongue vaccine is ready for collection, which is great news. The only problem is that they have sold out of the applicator ...Read this entry.

6th May 2008 We went to collect our piglets last night and the boys have each named one, they are called Percy, Prudence and Pheobe. We have housed them in a barn to begin with, while we do the ...Read this entry.

5th May 2008 Each year we can loose hundreds of acres of crops to pigeon and rabbit demolition and at the moment Pigeons are a problem up at Raikes and Paddington Farm, where they are eating the ...Read this entry.

2nd May 2008 It has been another very wet week, making work far more difficult and many fields too wet to work. However we are finally seeing some grass growing and have been able to turn cattle ...Read this entry.

25th April 2008 Thankfully the sun was shining this morning as we welcomed Year 3 and 4 pupils from our local school, Abinger Common First School. Laurence arrived in his combine harvester, which...Read this entry.

18th April 2008 Huge dog kills flock of sheep at Wotton. Yes its a banner headline which should be emblazoned across the local papers. The pictures below contain blood. It was an id...Read this entry.

17th April 2008 Grain maize needs temperatures of at least 12 degrees to germinate, so we are reliant on a warm summer to be sure of harvesting by mid November. This year we have hired a co...Read this entry.

2nd April 2008 The cattle at Coast Hill have been given their first application of insecticide along their spine and today those up on the Tolt will receive their first dose in the hope that they...Read this entry.

27th March 2008 The fields are still too wet for work and need a couple of days dry weather before cultivations can continue. So whilst the daily routine cattle work carries on, Dick has been fen...Read this entry.

23rd March 2008 Its been a wintry Easter Day with a good covering of snow across the fields and downs. I love that special quietness that comes with snow, just the crunch beneath your feet and th...Read this entry.

14th March 2008 Dick is fencing down in the Rookery, David is doing repairs to the grain store and Donald, Amanda and Sam are all feeding and littering up cattle. With grass still no...Read this entry.

12th March 2008 The Bluetongue vector-free period ends at 23:59 on March 15th. The vector free period has been in place since December 20th when falling temperatures and declining midge num...Read this entry.

7th March 2008 Paula Matthews For those people that know me, it may come as no surprise that this morning I was planning to do some gardening but ended up on an archaeological field walk ...Read this entry.

1st March 2008 Paula Matthews Yesterday was a first for us. We had our first school visit to Manor Farm since becoming fully accredited by Countryside Educational Visits Accreditation Scheme (CE...Read this entry.

27th February 2008 Laurence is busy preparing for a visit tomorrow from the Environment Agency who are coming to check all records relating to Nitrogen. In order to save time when the Agency are ...Read this entry.

13th February 2008 Laurence has been combining the last of the maize today so the combine harvester can now be put to bed for four months. We have hired a couple of muck spreaders which have bee...Read this entry.

11th February 2008 On such a beautiful spring morning it was an added bonus to hear the bleating of a new born lamb out in the old bull pen. Amanda keeps some Charolais sheep in one of our field...Read this entry.

8th February 2008 Bluetongue Protection Zone extended - Manor Farm in zone We know that Bluetongue disease will re-emerge with avengeance this summer, however through pre-movement ...Read this entry.

4th February 2008 I have been busy printing off letters to schools across Surrey telling, them about the Year of Food and Farming and inviting teachers to an informal visit of the farm t...Read this entry.

22nd January 2008 After the high winds last night, the skies cleared and we had a frost which has given just a brief glimpse of winter. The vibrant green shoots of the Bluebell plants h...Read this entry.

15th January 2008 Our friends from across the water, Seaumus and Aisling have just survived a weekend in our chaotic home. A fair quantity of cheese was consumed, (not as many tomatoes...Read this entry.

13th January 2008 It has been a busy media week for farming with TV programmes focussing on production methods of the the poultry sector in particular. It was an interesting experiment o...Read this entry.

Avian Influenza Three dead wild mute swans at the Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset have been confirmed as having the H5N1 strain of Avian Influenza. A Wild Bird Control Area and Mo...Read this entry.

10th January 2008 Laurence gave a local radio interview on New Years Eve, looking back on the difficulties of last year and into the unknown of 2008. He gave a positive interview and is ...Read this entry.

31st December 2007 The maize is in ventilated storage waiting to be dried, the ventilated floor prevents the maize from heating up and turning mouldy. The drier is at a standstill becau...Read this entry.

26th December 2007 I have just returned from a walk with the dogs and checking cattle, it was good to get out. I spent yesterday in the kitchen, or so it seemed - it was daylight when I ...Read this entry.

16th December 2007 Paula Matthews We have had another visit from the Fire Brigade, this time they went directly to the grain drier. David arrived shortly after and found the firemen had s...Read this entry.

14th December 2007 Farming continues all year round and some may be surprised to learn that harvesting even occurs in the winter. Laurence has been on the combine harvester this wee...Read this entry.

11th December 2007 Where have the last eight days gone? The weather has been dreadful over the last week and quite miserable to work in. Livestock still need to be fed and cared...Read this entry.

3rd December 2007 Orders have been coming in fast for the first Manor Farm beef to be sold by the box. I think another five boxes of our naturally reared Belted Galloway beef m...Read this entry.

2nd December 2007 The rain was coming sideways this morning and even the chickens decided it was too wet to venture out from their barn. We have 19 hens now (since the fox reduced the num...Read this entry.

26th November 2007 Laurence and I had a really interesting visit to meet Virginia Deradour an organic farmer in the Chilterns. I first met Virginia at the Farming and Countrysid...Read this entry.

24th November 2007 Beef Box Scheme It is 1.30am and I have just finished writing a flier for my Belted Galloway Beef Box Scheme! Being passionate about British produce and the v...Read this entry.

22nd November 2007 Another Pirbright Scare. Today Hilary Benn the Environment Secretary made an announcement to the House of Commons to the effect that on 19th November Merial di...Read this entry.

An Inspirational Teacher. I recently attended a Farmers Seminar organised by Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) at the South of England Showground, Ardingly. It really could be r...Read this entry.

21st November 2007 With cattle safely back near home for their winter keep and another twelve off to Chittys abattoir today, things feel a little more like normal. The weaned calves have been move...Read this entry.

Robin Atkins 1939 - 2007 I would like to pay tribute to our landlord at Normandy who sadly passed away this month. It was always a pleasure to see Robin, we would sit and chat about farming and our...Read this entry.

Paula Matthews 20th November 2007. The Year of Food and Farming The Year of Food and Farming was launched in September and will run until July 2008. It is an industry-led initiative propose...Read this entry.

15th November 2007 Today began bright and crisp and was just perfect for a walk. Autumn must be one of our best months! The trees, particularly Oak are still laden with colourful leaves and the va...Read this entry.

6th November 2007 We have received written notification that the cattle recently tested on our farm were negative to FMD antibodies which is the good news we were expecting. Surveillance testing i...Read this entry.

23rd October 2007 A new Foot and Mouth Restricted Zone (RZ) has been put in place which includes the Surveillance Zone and another area where extra surveillance is being undertaken. The boundary of ...Read this entry.

17th October Wednesday evening A further call has confirmed that DEFRA would like to take blood samples from each group of cattle on our farm. In smaller groups, say ten animals, they will take blo...Read this entry.

17th October 2007After a very stressful and resticting couple of months some of our staff are getting away on holiday, or so we thought until Amanda received a call from a DEFRA vet a few minutes ago....Read this entry.

16th October 2007 When DEFRA began to give daily updates of Bluetongue disease cases, it was presumed that this was the total of infected animals, because this is how they began recordi...Read this entry.

15th October 2007 A temporary control zone has been placed over a farm in Rye, Sussex as a precautionary measure whilst clinical signs in sheep are investigated. There have been 200 temp...Read this entry.

13th October 2007 Almost every day now there seem to be two or three revised licenses on the DEFRA website and welcome regulations such as allowing the export of meat to other member sta...Read this entry.

10th October 2007 Having completed various exemption forms today to apply for cattle movements, Laurence then phoned a vet at the Institute of Animal Health to ask whether a veterinary in...Read this entry.

8th October 2007 We are just trying to fathom out the regulations regarding the movement of livestock within the Foot and Mouth Surveillance Zone, from one part of a holding to another part...Read this entry.

2nd October 2007 The end of our financial year was on Sunday so Laurence has been doing a stock take. I wonder whether its a little known fact that farmers carry out a stock-take. Rec...Read this entry.

26th September 2007 The sixth British Food Fortnight between 22nd September and 7th October is the biggest national celebration of the diverse and delicious food produced in Britai...Read this entry.

22nd September 2007 Just when we thought things had to get better - There is an announcement from DEFRA of the first UK case of Bluetongue in the country. This is a disease that has been in ...Read this entry.

21st September 2007 Members of the public are keeping a close watch on livestock as they walk in the countryside which is appreciated. Please dont worry if you see one of ...Read this entry.

20th September 2007 Our new routine will entail Sam checking the cattle at Chappel Farm on his way to and from work and he will feed the calves at Manor Farm twice a day. T...Read this entry.

19th September 2007 The test results on the cattle at the fifth farm show antibodies to FMD and during the post mortem, 10 day old lesions were found. The Chief Veterinary Officer i...Read this entry.

17th September 2007 - nearly the 18th! Our main aim is to do all we can to eradicate Foot and Mouth Disease from Surrey, so we are ensuring all our cattle are regularly checked and th...Read this entry.

17th September 2007 A typical livestock day during this time of FMD entails checking each group of cattle, feeding calves and any livestock in barns and keeping up thorough bio securi...Read this entry.

16th September 2007 Its all gone very quiet. This weekend most of our staff had some time off, although feeding of calves and checking livestock have continued. W...Read this entry.

13th September 2007 Many of our cattle moved to new grazing yesterday morning, before the news of the suspected case of FMD had reached us. We are now thankful that they are on grass ...Read this entry.

12th September 2007 Early arrival of a new tractor today (two of the Same tractors are still out of commission). It is actually six years old, a John Deere 8200 costing us 25,000 compare...Read this entry.

11th September 2007 We are back on track with 75 calves arriving over the past week. Each calf must arrive with its personal passport and the ear tag number is checked against this do...Read this entry.

8th September 2007 At midday the Foot and Mouth restrictions were lifted! The 10km zone around Normandy has been removed, leaving the 5km temporary zone around the Institute of Animal...Read this entry.

6th September 2007 Tomorrow there should be an official announcement of how Foot and Mouth Disease escaped from the Pirbright Laboratory or Merial site. I have give...Read this entry.

3rd September 2007 Work went fairly well yesterday. Early in the morning before the Sunday drivers were out in force, Laurence took the combine harvester across to Normandy, near Gui...Read this entry.

31st August 2007 Cattle welfare is of paramount importance from the time the calves arrive on farm through to their journey by haulier to abbatoir almost two years later. ...Read this entry.

30th August 2007 The combine harvester, tractors and trailers have struggled on some very wet fields over the past few days so the weather needs to remain fine to help dry the ground...Read this entry.

26th August 2007 This week we have taken the loss of two steers that had been ready to go to slaughter. The barn in which they were housed was mucked out and because the weather was ...Read this entry.

23rd August 2007 Today has brought some good news. The Great Britain wide movement ban on live animals will be lifted from midnight tonight, outside of the surveil...Read this entry.

19th August 2007 Originally I was expecting to use this latest news page every so often just to outline the work currently being undertaken on the farm. However, since the websit...Read this entry.

18th August 2007 The blood tests and swabs taken from our calves on Monday have confirmed our earlier diagnosis of Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR). IBR is an acute viral disea...Read this entry.

Monday 13th August 2007 We had expected to hear the diagnosis on our calves today, however it transpired over the weekend that for bio security measures the DEFRA vet advised that the...Read this entry.

Sunday 12th August 2007 Yesterday afternoon and evening Laurence harvested 50 acres of wheat at Westcott and Hackhurst which is quite good going considering the combine had two break ...Read this entry.

Saturday 11th August 2007 NEGATIVE results to all tests! Fantastic news and such an enormous relief. Laurence phoned me about 11.40 to say he had heard from Reigate. The temporar...Read this entry.

Friday Evening Until all the tests are completed, farms under suspicion receive a daily visit from the DEFRA vet. The vet came round this afternoon and we checked through the animals and loo...Read this entry.

Friday 3pm Why is it that no one from DEFRA contacted us to explain that a Temporary Zone was being put around our farm, will they tell us when its lifted? The only communication today has b...Read this entry.

Friday 10th August 2007 - 12.15am We had a call just before midnight on the farming grapevine, that Debby Reynolds, Chief Veterinary Officer was about to issue a statement. We knew it would b...Read this entry.

9th August 2007- Thursday Not a good start to the day. Some of the calves are looking a bit poorly so we have called the vet and just waiting for him to arrive. In the meantime I have been d...Read this entry.

Wednesday afternoon I have just heard that animals are being culled on a third site and I feel sick to the stomach. Pigs are very contageous, so it may be that they have been culled as a pre...Read this entry.

8th August 2007 - Wednesday The last few days have merged into one. On Monday afternoon we heard from John Gunner whose cattle are grazing the land we rent at Normandy. His animals were sho...Read this entry.

6th August, 2007 Just before 10pm on Friday 3rd August, I had a call from Laurence who was still out combining. He said to switch on the news because there was an outbreak of Foot and Mout...Read this entry.