Farming

In addition to traditional methods, we use modern GPS technology & aerial imagery in our arable farming activities. We protect our soil through minimal tillage and have an appetite for farming a greater area whilst respecting our countryside.

Back to the future

Being a family run business and with future generations in mind, Kingsclere Estates Ltd operates a long term view and therefore sustainability is one of the key objectives, through the adoption of a holistic approach . By 2012, after 10 years of farming effectively an all arable farming business since the closure of our dairy, it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain, let alone improve yields year-on-year and this was in spite of growing expenditure on increasingly sophisticated inputs and technology. It was clear that the soil, the foundation of any farming system, was becoming lifeless and generally lacking in organic matter and a new approach was required in order to get this soil back to maximising its potential and the land to remain profitable. One of the options was returning to a more diverse mixed farming system with its many synergies and symbiotic relationships. With this in mind, just under half of the farm was taken out of arable production and put into 4 year mixed herbal and red clover leys in order to, among other things, increase organic matter levels, fix nutrients and aerate the soil. To aid with this soil improvement and to maintain an economic output from these lays, a 1700 strong flock of breeding ewes were bought and a 150 head herd of beef cattle drafted in; we had gone full circle, or back to the future...

Pasture Fed Lamb

Due to the extensive nature of this new livestock enterprise and through the use of winter cover crops on the arable land, our sheep over winter on pasture and are totally pasture fed. The virtues of this over a grain fed system to both the taste and health benefits of the meat have been widely extolled in recent years and are championed by the Pasture Fed Livestock Association with whom we are members. For further information on our products see http://www.fairfarmfare.co.uk/

Enterprise Stacking

Tim’s Nuffield Scholarship travels highlighted the opportunities of enterprise stacking and its associated mutual economic, environmental and community benefits. Through rotational grazing, our pastures can support both sheep and cattle in the same year and indeed benefit from the differences in grazing styles at different growth stages. However we are also open to working with with other local rural enterprises with perhaps different types of livestock who may be looking to increase their grazing area so please do get in touch if this is of interest.

Environmental Maintenance

Whilst the farming business is important to us, we also recognise our role as ‘stewards of the countryside’. We aim to maintain the land we work with through our management practices, improving and growing the potential of our beautiful landscape, and the wildlife that thrives here. Since the sowing of our species rich herbal leys the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust have been monitoring the biodiversity on these areas of the farm and have already recorded significant increases in numbers and diversity of spiders in particular; we await with interest the longer term results.

Combining Modern Approach with Traditional Methods

We are now on a predominantly direct drilling system (with the assistance of minimal tillage when absolutely necessary) in an attempt to maintain ground cover, build soil structure and diversity whilst simultaneously reducing costs. We use global positioning systems and the latest aerial imagery to create detailed maps, enabling us to pinpoint areas where site specific management (such as increasing sowing density or improving the organic matter within the soil) will enhance the natural potential in the future whilst helping to minimise our reliance on man-made chemicals. Indeed, we have already adopted a lower input arable system and we will be able to grow yields when the benefits of our herbal leys and livestock are realised whilst continuing to lower chemical inputs and soil disruption year-on-year.

Contact

Tim May ~ Kingsclere Estates
Pitt Hall Farm, Ramsdell, Tadley, Hampshire RG26 5RJ
01256 850221
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Web Links

Here are a few of the companies that we trade with on the farm. This list is not exclusive, some of the logo's below will take you to the respective companies websites, others will not. The ones that do have got a link on thier website to here. If you would like your company to have a reciprocal link with us then please set up a link on your companies website. If you need a kingsclere estates logo then right click on the logo of your choice below and choose save as. 

Send me an email once this is done and we will add you to the list.

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Kingsclere Estates Ltd. Pitt Hall Farm, Ramsdell, Tadley, Hampshire, RG26 5RJ

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