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.
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.
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.
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.