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Farming Today at Deer Park Farm

Covering 280 acres (113 hectares), Deer Park Farm is a good example of a Westcountry mixed farm, with cattle, sheep and various
growing crops.

It is farmed by the Howlett family, who place a strong emphasis on protecting the environment and enabling the public to learn more about British agriculture and the countryside.

The information panel below is one from a series displayed in our farm education centre. Click on an element in the panel to
see the information in more detail.

 

Farming Today at Deer Park Farm
Click here to download a larger PDF version of the display panel above

The Farming LandscapeCows around the historic arsenic flue chimney at Deer Park Farm Luckett
Although it may seem natural and unchanging, much of Britain's rural landscape has been shaped by centuries of farming activity.

The Tamar Valley's characteristic patchwork pattern of fields can be seen at Deer Park farm, with walls and hedges following the natural slopes of the land. The layout of our fields, which vary from 1 to 20 acres in size, has remained largely unchanged for 150 years.

However, during this time, there have been huge changes in farming. The increasing size of agricultural machinery brings new challenges in working fields originally laid outin the days of horse-power. Modern buildings allow
stock to be housed over winter meaning that greater numbers of animals
can be reared on the same area of land. In contrast, the number of people working on the land has greatly decreased.

Amidst all this change, Environmental Stewardship agreements like that here at Deer Park Farm can help to ensure the
preservation of our distinctive rural landscape for future generations.

 

Livestock

Lambs at Deer Park Farm
Deer Park Farm runs a “closed” flock of ewes, which means
they are home-bred here on the farm.
We have around 300 continental ewes (Texel and Charollais
reeds), which are cross-bred with native British Suffolk rams.
The ewes lamb each Spring, in February and March.

The sheepdog, Ross, at Deer Park Farm
As on most livestock farms, a Collie dog assists with
stock handling - Ross, the sheepdog, is pictured right.
Deer PArk Farm - sheep and lambing info card
To view or download our Deer Park Farm sheep
and lambing information card, click here.
Feeding the stock at Deer Park Farm

We have a beef suckler herd of continental cross-bred cows
(Limousin and Simmental breeds). They are cross-bred
with an Aberdeen Angus stock bull to produce
good quality beef calves.
We also buy suckled Welsh Black calves from farmers
higher up on the moorland to fatten on the
richer pastures of Deer Park Farm.

The meat produced on the farm is sold locally to Jaspers
and then on to outlets including Ginsters and
Philip Warren, a butcher in Launceston.

Highland cow and calf at Deer Park Farm

In addition, we also have a “fold” of Highland Cattle,
with their distinctive horns.
They are primarily used for environmental grazing
under the Stewardship scheme.


FACE Livestock Farming poster


Find out more about livestock farming on a poster from the Farming and Countryside Education website -
click here to download the poster.

Renewable Energy

Miscanthus - a renewable energy crop at Deer Park FarmMost recently, Miscanthus, which is commonly known as “Elephant Grass”
because it is so tall, has also been grown on the farm.

This is a renewable energy crop, and its fields also provide a good habitat for
rabbits, deer, other mammals and a wide range of insects, which are a food
source for many birds.

The stems - which, unlike Bamboo, are solid rather than hollow - are harvested
each spring when the canes have dried. Currently, there are no power plants
which can use this renewable energy in the local area, so the crop from Deer
Park is chopped and the dust is removed so that the cuttings can be used as
horse bedding.

Deer Park Farm info card - Miscanthus
To view or download our Deer Park Farm Miscanthus information card, click here.
Growing Crops
A field of clover at Deer Park Farm

To feed the livestock, the farm aims
to be self-sufficient in grain and
forage feeds.

Crops grown on the farm include
winter-sown barley and oats,
spring-sown beans, stubble turnips,
forage maize and grass leys (fields
planted to grass on a rotation with
other crops) for silage, hay and
grass production.

Combine harvesting at Deer Park Farm
Barley and oats are harvested in August,
using our combine harvester.
We harvest the beans in September and
forage maize, by contractors, in October.

Silage production continues throughout the summer. Silage is, in effect, naturally “pickled” grass, and provides a palatable and
nutritious foodstuff for our livestock during the winter months.

The remainder of the farmland supports permanent pasture, which provides grazing for our livestock.


Download a FACE poster about growing crops - click here

 

Find out more about growing crops on a poster from the Farming and Countryside Education website -
click here to download the poster.
 

Diversification

Like many farm businesses, the Howletts have diversified into other activities.

Farm cottage holidays at Deer Park Farm.
They provide accommodation for holidaymakers in three self-catering
holiday cottages on the farm.

Find out more here.

Holidays in authentic northe American Sioux-style tipis at Deer Park Farm, Cornwall
In recent years, three authentic tipis -
based on North American Sioux design - have also been added, to offer
an excitingly different and 'green' stay
in the Tamar Valley.

Walking group gathering at Deer Park Farm, Cornwall
Because the farm formerly lay within
the historic royal Deer Park, there are
no Public Footpaths across its land.
However, access for the public is offered
along “Permissive Paths”, and through
frequent farm walks and open days.
School visit to Deer Park Farm, Cornwall

In particular, the family spends time on leading educational visits for schools
and colleges, as well as farm walks for the general public and
special interest groups.

For more about Farm visits, click here.

 

Farming and Countryside Education website. A good range of educational resources for Primary Schools - including an Activity Booklet and video - is available from
the Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) website.
Click here to access the Primary School resources.
 

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Information about diversification at Deer Park Farm - click here. Information about growing crops - click here Information about livestock - click here Information about the Farming landscape - click here