Interactive Map

interactive-map

1: Roman Fort
Lower House Farm has been in the Parish of Canon Frome for many generations. There have been settlements on the farm going back to the Roman times.

The roman fort on the farm has been here since the 1st century AD –AD 600, but remains of worked wood and other remains indicate wooden hurdles from 3500 BC for fishing so there has been in this valley for a very long time!! A certain amount of archaeological work has been carried out since the late 1960s – in terms of aerial reconnaissance, auguring and field walking surveys and archaeological observation of limited trenching. The town was possibly called Epocessa and was a local market centre, with evidence of possible industrial activity. In 2007 a local archaeology company, Border Archaeology (borderarchaeology.com) did a lot of work on the site and others nearby and a wealth of information was found not just here but also on other farms as well.

2: Livestock
Until recently, we were finishing approximately 200-220 cattle per year. These were on a 60/40 split between continental breeds and our native Hereford-Cross cattle (usually a cross between a Hereford mother mated with an Angus or Simmental bull). The cattle in the past have been bought from local auction rings/cattle markets, e.g. Hereford, Ross on Wye, Brecon and Ludlow. We have also bought from a cattle buyer who sources the cattle that we like on our behalf.

In the summer time where possible, the cattle graze the fields and are on a fed on a diet of just grass. In the winter time, they are housed in pens of similar age and breed. This allows them space, clean water and fresh straw every day. All of the ingredients that they eat are completely GM-free and grown on the farm.

3: The Canal
Another ongoing project on the farm is the renewal of approximately 1 kilometre of the Canal that runs through the farm. Over the last few years we have reclaimed a stretch of the canal that has lain untouched for 150 years. This has created a bird-friendly stretch of water that is now inhabited by ducks, swans, geese and other wildlife. View an old map of the area to see how it once looked – View Map.

In the future we hope to finish the last stretch of the canal that has been untouched and bring it back to the same standard as the newly restored section.

4: Livestock
The Stables is our beautifully restored meeting venue on the farm.  Situated right on the lane but with ample parking area, it welcomes groups from far and wide – members of the public for training seminars and regular company meetings – whether it be monthly sales meetings or just a few gatherings of a steering group per year.  For many of our customers they have chosen The Stables for its ample free parking, ease of access (just off the A417) and it’s lovely food, but above all I think for the personal service that they receive when they are with us….  just take a look at our testimonials page!

5 & 6: Conservation at Lower House Farm
Here at Lower House Farm, the environment that we have and work within has always been important to us. In 1999 we joined the Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS). This has enabled us to put in new hedges on the farm totalling 2200 metres, which has resulted in a very diverse landscape, with sightings of rare Corn Buntings and Lapwings by the local ornithological group. These hedging plants are bought from a local nursery and are a mixture of hedging plants like Beech, Ash, Hornbeam, Dogwood, Quickthorn and Spindle. In 2005 we joined the Entry Level Scheme (ELS). This allowed us to continue with other conservation projects on the farm.

Grass strips are planted alongside sensitive areas including water courses, hedges and in some cases houses. These total 6000 metres. Three years ago, we entered into a scheme with the RSPB and a number of different agencies to put down a special grass seed mixture around one field to encourage birds and insects to nest. The results have been monitored over the last few years and the results can be viewed here (Bird Record 1) and here (Bird Record 2). Alongside that, we have put in special scrapes in the fields as we are planting the wheat. These provide a nesting place or landing place for birds and their young.

7: Arable Crops
We currently use a Ford New Holland CX860 Combine Harvester for our combinable crops.  We usually grow wheat and oilseed rape.  The 2012 year was very difficult and in the autumn of that year we lost 100 acres of wheat to the rain and waterlogged ground, so were forced to plant spring barley and oats to make up for it in 2013.

8: Ancient Woodland
A few years ago, when we were looking into Stewardship, we looked at some old woodland and discovered certain varieties of plants and fauna within the wood. We contacted a conservation advisory group who informed us that the species of plants found were only found in ancient woodland. This woodland has therefore been kept out of any wood-thinning programmes for the moment.

9: Cider Apples
In 2009 and 2010 we planted 70 acres of Cider Apple trees for Westons Cider.  They are mixed varieties including Dabinett, Michelin, Hastings, Vicky and Gilly.  The trees are pruned from December-March and the apples are harvested in October.