Court Place Farm
Ashbrittle Stud occupies part of Court Place Farm, which has been a feature of Somerset’s Tone Valley for centuries. Some of its pastures still bear the names they were given over five hundred years ago.
We still run Court Place as a farm, albeit on a more modest basis than in former times. The majority of the farm is in the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and the land is managed using traditional methods. For example, hay and oats for the horses are grown on the farm and the land is grazed in rotation by the cattle and sheep. We’ve also planted dozens of native broadleaf saplings, manage most of the hedges using traditional hedge laying methods (leading to more biodiversity) and have replanted the old cider orchard near the farmhouse.
But we don’t do these things simply for cosmetic reasons; we believe that doing things the old way – without taking many of the short-cuts of modern farming – ultimately produces a better product.
Our cattle are a good example of this. The herd consists entirely of pedigree Red Ruby Devons, a local breed perfectly suited to the rolling pastureland of Ashbrittle (the Devon border lies just across the valley). They are smaller than continental breeds, but their quiet browsing habits are remarkably gentle on the land. Crucially, they also provide some of the best beef in the world.
Pedigree breeding heifers are offered for sale at the Devon Cattle Breeders’ Society Spring and Autumn sales or can be purchased privately. The Ashbrittle herd is well respected and in 2006, the farm produced the top price maiden heifer reaching 1,300 guineas, twice the average price for the sale.
|© Ashbrittle Stud 2007