Pasture House Farm is tenanted by Phillip and Trisha Ormerod. Their twin sons Joseph and James also live and work on the farm.
The farm is situated 175m above sea level between West Marton and Gisburn near to the Lancashire / Yorkshire border. The farm land is split into three blocks totalling approximately 80 hectares (197 acres). Some of the farm land is in Gisburn, some is in East Marton and the other is around the farmstead. The farm is a mixed farm with both livestock and arable. The livestock comprises of goats and cattle.
Goats are kept on the farm for their milk. Currently, there are 750 goats in the Gledstone herd and the predominant breed is British Saanen. This breed have a short, fine white coat are generally calm in nature and produce high quantities of milk.
The milk produced by the goats is sold to Delamere Dairy (www.delameredairy.co.uk).
Alongside the 750 milking goats there are young goats that will mature and enter the milking herd as well as 8 Billy goats.
In addition to the goats there is a small herd of Pedigree Red Poll cattle. This breed is hardy, calm-natured but slow-growing. Red Polls are a native breed that originated from Norfolk and Suffolk. They are chestnut red (as in conker) coloured, and are born without horns which is why they are called red poll(ed) cattle. Phillip hopes to increase his herd to around 20 animals.
The farm also grows approx 20 hectares (49 acres) Winter Wheat that is sown in the autumn (usually September/October) and harvested the following summer (usually in August). Grains in the “ears” are used for making flour and animal feed. Stalks are used for straw or ploughed back into the soil.
Some of the grass is cut twice a year for silage (usually in June and August). Although the majority of this is collected and stored loose in a silage ‘clamp’ (that is then rolled and covered with plastic to ferment), some is ‘spun’ in the field to dry it – making haylage that is then baled and wrapped into large, round bales which can be stored outside. Both are fed to our animals during the winter months.
The grassland ‘block’ at East Marton is a more traditional mix of grasses and wild-flowers that is now cut just once a year for hay (usually mid-July). This is ‘spun’ several times in the field to dry it before it is baled and brought back to the farmstead for storing indoors to keep it dry. It is fed to the animals throughout the year.
Although the majority of the farmstead buildings are modern, the farmhouse dates from 17th century and is Grade II listed. The attached combination cow-shed/hay-barn (listed by association) appears as a ‘long-house’ complete with a double-aisled cow-house, manure passages and central feeding passage (made larger to accommodate cart access) and a hay-loft above.
Adjacent to the farm track is another traditional (if extended) barn – unlisted but present on 1st Edition OS maps, 1853. This is in the style of a combined field/threshing barn with double doors on opposite elevations, a double-aisled cow-house, manure passages and a hay-loft above.
As all of the goats live indoors on straw bedding, the modern farm buildings have been either specially built or adapted to accommodate them. These include large, ‘airy’ goat housing that (with big doors at either end) permit easy tractor access, ‘kid’ pens, a parlour, dairy, straw store and a silage ‘clamp’.
The farm is EFSIS-FABBL Farm Assured which means it meets approved standards in relation to the milk production process, hygiene, food safety, housing, machinery, herd health and stockmanship.