Wantisden Hall Farm
Grower: Tim Pratt
Address: Wantisden, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 3PQ
This 1,549 acre farm has been in the Kemball family since 1946. It specialises in the production of field vegetables, grown on contract for a range of packing and processing companies, whom then supply the major supermarkets. Wantisden is currently in both ELS and HLS agreements, including one of the lasrgest areas of medieval pollarded oak woodlands in Europe. As well as the Home Farm, Wantisden also contract farms another 1600 acres in the surrounding area.
Wantisden Hall Farms has been in the Kemball family since 1946. Today the 1,549 acre farm specialises in the production of field vegetables grown for a range of packers.
Wantisden has recently purchased 200 easy care ewes for the grazing and utilisation of crop residues and grassland introduced within the HLS agreement. This will gradually be built up over the next few years, with the potential of a small box scheme locally.
Crops for food
We grow potatoes, onions, carrots, cabbages, barley, maize, wheat Triticale and sugar beet. Our most important crop is potatoes, which go directly to a marketing company for packing and selling to the major retailers.
Crops like potatoes and onions can be hard on the ground, but a carefully planned rotation with other less demanding crops such as cereals interspersed with vegetables, ensure the soil is kept in good heart. Pigs have also been introduced to the rotation on our lighter land, which has helped create a great deal of muck and also reduce volunteer issues.
Among the conservation features at Wantisden Hall, Staverton is one of the largest areas of medieval pollarded oak woodlands in Europe. We are working closely with English Nature to help protect this unique Site of Special Scientific Interest. Irrigation is essential at Wantisden Hall Farm, due to the character of the soil and the farm’s location. We have an extensive network of underground mains and pumping stations extracting water from the 50 acres of lakes on the farm. These reservoirs have been extracted over 25 years and are now managed to provide excellent wildlife habitat.
To help protect the soil from wind erosion, we have established belts of pine trees across the farm and an extensive programme of planting more indigenous species is being followed as part of our Biodiversity Action Plan.
Come and visit Wantisden Hall Farm to find out how, by farming in an integrated way, we are balancing the requirements of growing healthy food with environment care. We welcome visitors throughout the year.
About LEAF Demonstration Farms
LEAF Demonstration Farms are commercial farms, which show the beneficial practices of Integrated Farm Management (IFM) to a broad range of audiences, through organised visits. They communicate an understanding of IFM in order to encourage uptake by farmers, support from the industry and political awareness of sustainable food and farming. For more information, visit www.leafuk.org.
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