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On the Farm

It won’t have escaped your notice that we are animal lovers; we are amassing quite a collection! We have two gorgeous black Labrador gun dogs, a couple of cats (and several more mousers in the barns) and an ever growing bunch of hens, about 50, and an incubator full waiting to hatch! Sally also keeps a hive or two of bees in the orchard and Len keeps more down by the river.

Sally and Robert have lived at Crockleys Farm for over 10 years. Robert is part of the family that are custodians’ of Tortworth Estate and is a born and bred ‘Tortworthite’. He runs the estate with his other brothers. The estate is approximately 4,500 acres and includes several farms, rented cottages, commercial premises and quarries and they have their own 1000 acre ‘in hand’ organic dairy farm. The 350 cows are at Elm Tree farm, about half a mile away, whilst Crockleys Farm mainly grows forage for the cows and there is some permanent pasture along the river meadows. The old farm buildings at Crockleys are used by the forestry team who manage 500 acres of woodland for timber and firewood.

Sally has a background in environmental consulting and successfully managed her own business providing advice to oil and gas companies. Since son Thomas’ arrival 4 years ago she has been hatching a plan that doesn’t involve going back to work! With Roberts’ children, Olivia and Charlie’s, departure to uni the house has provided the answer. The farmhouse being far too large for just three, and Sally enjoying cooking, Bed and Breakfast seemed ideal. Sally’s parents ran a B&B and she spent a lot of her teenage years changing beds and cooking!

We both have an interest in conservation, in all its forms and this is shown both on the farm and more recently on the energy conservation side at the farmhouse. In an effort to wean ourselves off oil, we have added solar hot water, photovoltaics for electricity generation and are shortly to install a biomass boiler for the house. Robert has become a bit of an expert and will convince you of the merits of all things renewable!