Manor Farm

The entrance to Manor Farm
Our Manor Farm neighbours: Helen, Dan, Bertie, Pearce and Tillie (plus Oswald and Bear) - read about them on this page

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.

Quarterly Update June 2019

The lambing period is a real team effort and absorbed all our time during April. Apart from a couple of very wet and cold days, when we lost several lambs, the season was good. The lambs were then tagged and the sheep split into different groups in various locations to grow.

Once lambing finished, calving started. The calves are also tagged, which can be tricky when their mothers are so protective.

The majority of the cattle were turned out in May. The growing cattle move fields every 3-4 days to optimise the nutrients, encourage grass growth and help prevent worm issues.   Bertie measures the grass growth with a Platemeter.

We had a whole herd TB Test performed by the vets at the beginning of June, which took 4 days, this is a legal requirement. We had 6 cows that had inconclusive tests and they are now isolated from the rest of the herd – these will be retested.

Open Farm Sunday was a huge success, it was lovely to see so many from the village.

As an AHDB Strategic Farm, Bertie also had a farm meeting here In June, AHDB and other farmers came to discuss the business and look at the farm. Ideas and policies are shared.

Bertie & Pearce were also busy Silaging in May. In simple terms Silage is grass that is cut, baled and wrapped to “pickle” the fodder ready to feed during the winter. The mower is out again as I type, mowing grass for Hay whilst the sun shines.

You will see a lot of tractors on the road, not just from us but from all the farms in the area who are busy making food for next winter. Please be patient with them, they are rarely going far and will usually turn off before you need to.

It is such a gorgeous time of year, Dorset is looking glorious ..” England’s green and pleasant land”

In addition to images from the above activities, we have also included photos of the sheep sheering and treatment of the lambs, both of which took place during June.

We hope you enjoy these updates of what is happening on the farms in the area. We will provide another update in three months time.

 

 

The flower of a Chicory plant
The long roots of Ryegrass allow improved access to water during dry spells
Chicory is grown as part of multi-seeded organic mix on Manor Farm pastures
A sample of the organic Barley cropped in 2019 from Observer's Field
Home grown organic Barley rolled, ready to feed to the stock
Bertie feeds a weaker Charolais-Angus cross calf with 5:6 litres of organic milk per day
Calves being fed 4 litres of organic milk per day in an isolation unit
Calves in the isolation unit are fed organic milk, then organic cake, while going through the TB testing
A calf receiving special attention to ensure it receives its 4 litres of milk
For the times it is needed, Bertie will administer an injection of an antibiotic
Bertie administers an injection of antibiotic
Toby, Pearce's brother, continues the regular servicing of the farm's tractors
 Pearce providing organic hay to supplement grass feed in Kennel Lane field
Cattle in Kennel Lane field eating Manor Farm organic hay
Local contractors, James and Jack, begin taking up the old hardstanding
Simon, of Ring Fencing, working his way through 7000 metres of new fencing
A three line automatic electric fence dispenser from an ATV
Bertie makes an adjustment to the wire fence solar panel
Pearce and Bertie staking the electric fences
Pearce tests the electric circuit is working by using a modern circuit tester - a blade of grass