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Archived farming news

Summer 2016
A seasonal round-up of the Estate's farming activity.
Winter wheat is growing in the fields either side of Honley Road. This will be harvested and turned into silage and used as feed for dairy herds. Spring barley is growing down Field Lane, which will also be harvested for animal feed later in the year. These fields will then be rested as grassland. The short-term grass and clover planted in land between Fenay Beck and Penistone Road, and near Squirrel Wood has now come to the end of its life and will be planted with winter wheat.
Following harvest, some stubble will be left in place until spring to provide feed for wildlife over the winter.Unseasonal weather means that the nectar and pollen crops are late flowering. There’s plenty of pollen around, however, as hay fever sufferers will know.Later this year, we’re looking to introduce more mustard, which in the future will provide the ideal habitat for tree sparrows.Tilhill, a specialist forestry management organisation, is creating a 10-year woodland management plan to make sure that our 400 acres of woodland remain healthy for at least the next 50 to 100 years.

Farming update by Paul Elgar - summer 2015

Spring saw a successful lambing season on the Estate, with Farnley Tyas and Thurstonland schools enjoying a visit to the home farm to meet the newborn lambs.

Suckler cows, which are beef cows reared to produce one calf each year, have been grazing the rough forage ont he traditional, herb-rich pastures. Summer rearing continues and the heifer calves will eventually join the suckler herd.

If the dry, sunny weather continues, we hope to make traditional hay from the herb-rich grasses. Meanwhile the first crop of silage has been taken from the land. This year it's anticipated that a total of 4 crops of silage will be taken from the high production grassland.


The natural pollen mixes that were planted last year are now established grasses, providing much-needed pollen for honey bees and bumble bees. The buffer strips, created for barn owl conservation, now have plenty of cover and, according to reports, are doing their job in attracting more wildlife to the area.

A recent trip down Field Lane yielded 4 hares, 5 white tails, 2 buzzards, chaffinches, tree sparrows and a more than a brace of pheasants. 

Farming update by Paul Elgar - Autumn 2014

This autumn, the land off Best Lane will be planted with winter wheat and siled next year. The cereal crop from Squirrel Wood was harvested for animal feed and is now into a two year crop of high yield grass.

Pollen and nectar mixes have been planted to encourage bees and insects, which has also created wildlife corridors linking approximately 400 acres of land for wildlife to travel through. Barn owl plots are also being created through the process of scrub regeneration and the land is currently being worked and fenced.

The land near Penistone Road was tidied, mown and weeded. The trees planted during the last season have also been weeded and pruned where necessary.

Spring planting - March 2013

One of the wettest winters on record has delayed work in some areas. When weather allows, we'll apply the first fertiliser to the winter barley and start work on clearing the backlog, which includes the much needed work on Jumble Wood near Penistone Road.

This year's woodland management work has gone very well. Felling, to thin out the canopy, will be completed late spring and we're on schedule to under-plant around 5,500 trees by the end of the season.

Throughout the winter, our grasslands have been grazed by sheep from Paul and Gill Thorp's farm. Many of you will know the Thorp's farm better as the one in the middle of the M62. 

Winter planting – December 2013

The late crop of spring oats means that the land between Best Lane, Honley Road and Royd House, Bank Foot will be planted with a grass/clover ley early next spring.

A successful crop of winter wheat was grown and removed from the land adjoining Squirrel Wood, Woodsome Road. The next crop will be winter barley, with a grass crop planned for autumn 2014.

The good crop of winter barley on land adjoining Reliance Mill, Penistone Road has been followed by a grass ley.

The moderate crop of winter wheat was harvested from land at Jumble Wood, Penistone Road. Due to remedial work to overcome soil structure and drainage problems, a grass and clover ley will be planted early next spring.

Sheep will graze the land between Fenay Beck and Penistone Road, over the winter. A standard, Hybrid Lime tree will also be planted, with a further tree planted every few years. This will make sure there is always a young tree to replace a tree coming to the end of its life.

All grassland on the home farm will be grazed with sheep during this coming winter. Next year, grass will be taken for a mixture of equine herbage and silage for cattle.