Willowford is a small organic farm, with about 100 breeding ewes and a dozen Ayrshire cattle from Slack House, our friends and neighbours. The sheep are New Zealand Romney crosses, a fine dual purpose breed that has been improved through a vigorous selective breeding programme, firstly in New Zealand and then in Galloway where we purchased our male from.

ayrshire cow
An Ayrshire cow from Slack House Farm

The farm is managed to the organic standards of the Soil Association and got full organic status in 2009. This means our stock enjoy the highest possible animal welfare standards, including a natural diet and plenty of space to roam and graze. It also ensures that we don’t use chemical herbicides or pesticides and build fertility into the soil naturally and without the use of synthetic fertilisers.

Marmalade fly on Yarrow
Marmalade fly on Yarrow

We farm in a way that protects and enhances the many habitats on the farm. In 2011 we joined a Higher Level Stewardship scheme which commits us to managing the land in a wildlife sensitive way and also includes a number of projects to restore and improve habitats that will increase biodiversity on the farm. These include planting native trees, laying hedges, restoring hay meadows and fencing off high value wildlife habitats.