Prestonhall Farms and Saughland Farm are working together as a joint monitor farm in the Lothians. These two neighbouring farms were once part of the same large estate and although they are now separate businesses, the two farms have maintained close links since the estate was divided into three 20 years ago.
Saughland Farm is a total of 320 hectares, 70 hectares of which is arable. Peter Eccles joined Saughland Farm as farm manager three years ago and since then has more than doubled the sheep numbers (from 950 to over 1900) and is slowly moving the flock from inside to outside lambing. The farm also has 55 suckler cows, mainly Angus, Hereford, and Limousin crosses, which complement the sheep enterprise and are integral to the grazing system.
Prestonhall Farms, managed by Bill Gray, is an arable enterprise of 660 hectares growing cereals and oilseeds on a five-year rotation. Currently the farm devotes approximately 120 hectares to spring barley, with 160 hectares of winter wheat, 70 hectares of winter barley, 70 hectares of oilseed rape and 60 hectares of oats, along with over 100 hectares of permanent pasture and 78 hectares of woodland.
Bill commented: “I feel very comfortable going into this as a joint project as Peter and I have similar philosophies in terms of what we are trying to do, and I think the farms will benefit from both closer working and the wider monitor farm project.”
For further information on Lothian Monitor Farm meetings contact Colin MacPhail, one of the facilitators, on 07747 046 461 / firstname.lastname@example.org.