Newman Farming Partnership
Born in Dorset to a family who have farmed in Cattistock country since the early 1600s, Dan Newman now farms in partnership with his wife, Helen and son Bertie. They farm a commercial organic and conventional suckler herd comprising 400 head of cattle and a sheep flock of 1500 ewes. The extensively managed all grass farm of 1600 acres, part rented and part owned is split over 4 farms in West Dorset. Their daughter, Tillie has recently returned from working in New Zealand and is currently helping during the lambing season.
They moved from Chantmarle Farm to Manor Farm, Cattistock in July 2017, when they purchased the farm, which they had previously rented for 20 years on a temporary basis from the Creswell family. In the year since they purchased the farm, buildings have been erected to house the cattle in the winter months and they have renovated the bungalow where they now live. Bertie lives at the top of the farm at Hill Barn.
Pearce, who lives in Cerne Abbas joined the team on October 2018 and helps them on the farm on a full-time basis.
Update – July 2020
Since the beginning of the year our wonderful country had been battling Covid-19. This has affected many businesses and individuals within the South West in a variety of ways and will change the way we run our businesses.
During the lockdown period the farms continued to work, as it is critical that we can supply food to the country, hence animals require feeding, bedding up and checking. We have been lambing, calving, TB Testing, silage making, rolling and topping, just to name a few of the tasks. It has been a very strange time and whilst we have continued to work, we have been very conscious of keeping ourselves and others around us safe. As farmers we tend to “self-isolate” as a small group and as part of our role in life. So far, we have been lucky and stayed healthy – long may it last!
As far as the trade goes, the meat trade has been unstable and not always in our favour, hopefully this will stabilise as the hospitality industry opens up again.
The weather during lambing was kind to us, which always helps and reduces the losses. We started to get concerned when a long dry period followed, with the hills looking like a desert. Thankfully, the rain arrived, and the grass started to grow allowing us to turn cattle out and put them on a 3-4 day rotation around the farm.
Vets have performed the annual whole herd TB Test, which took 4 days. This is a legal requirement, and thankfully, unlike many herds, we have tested TB free this year so are less restricted when selling stock.
The SAI Global Inspection (the farm assurance scheme) was done remotely due to Covid. Like many companies we have all learnt to upload inspection documents and provide business access via video.
Covid has also nudged us into supplying meat to the village, our 1st beef animal sold out and we have had some lovely feedback. We will try to continue to supply beef 6 times a year and lamb when available if the demand is there. Interested parties please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the current email list.
Those of you who read the Farmers Weekly will note a company with whom he has been helping to develop an electronic cattle trading/weighing/movement platform put Bertie forward for Young Farmer of the Year. He is in the top 3 finalists; the finals are in the Autumn – we are all immensely proud of his achievements.
We are so incredibly lucky to live in Cattistock, a village we should all be immensely proud of. We have an amazing group of volunteers, a wonderful village shop which has kept us supplied through some testing times and a pub which we have missed and are delighted that it has now reopened with an amazing outside bar!
If you are interested in the Manor Farm page, and would like to know more about the farm, please contact Peter Farmer.