Neil was born and brought up at Hill Top Farm, Malham in North Yorkshire where his grandparents moved in 1950. After working on several farms, and what can only be loosely described as ‘studying’ at Seale Hayne Agricultural College in Devon, he returned to work at home and on other local farms. Ironically he also had a spell selling animal feeds!
The Foot and Mouth crisis in 2001 was the catalyst for Neil to start farming at home full time. In 2003, as part of a conservation grazing scheme he re-introduced 20 Belted Galloway cattle to join the Swaledale sheep flock. This proved to be a defining time for Neil in terms of ethos and mindset, as he sought more sustainable and environmentally friendly production methods. This resulted in cattle numbers increasing to a total of 110 to 120 and the number of Swaledale sheep reducing to 200.
Neil and his partner Leigh are now Certified Suppliers of Pasture Beef and it is hoped that by drawing on the lessons learnt from the cattle enterprise they will soon achieve the same status with the sheep.
Neil hopes to be able to spread the word in the Northern Uplands that the right breed of animal, in the right situation, is more than capable of producing high quality Pasture Meat in a truly sustainable way – which is probably a bit like his grandfather did when he first farmed at Hill Top back in the 1950s.Contact Neil