Lower Pertwood Farm is an ideal farm for livestock. The rolling typography are ideal for sheep. In fact, pre-World War II, the entire area was largely a sheep farming area and it was only as a result to produce more food that the Wiltshire chalk down lands were ploughed and converted into arable land. Although it was considered to be poor grade 3 farm land at the time, the chalk has turned out to be particularly productive when it comes to coping with climatic variations. It does not saturate like many low land farms so work can continue throughout the year. During periods of drought the chalk holds moisture very well and our crops are almost unaffected by long sunny spells which can be detrimental to crops on some soils.
Cattle also do well at Lower Pertwood. The ancient down lands which are not farmed other than with livestock are ideal for cattle and sheep. The vegetation in our down lands is ancient, traditional grassland with specialised wildflowers that have adapted over the years to that environment. Tufty grass also grows on the down lands so by rotating the grazing between cattle and sheep we are able to control the grass which prevents it from dominating other plants which as a result of the heavy grazing then thrive. Putting sheep in after cattle is the ideal combination because it leaves the down lands in very good condition. One should remember that over millions of years wild animals grazed freely over these areas and by using the cattle and sheep rotation we are doing nothing more than emulating what nature has been doing since time in memorial.
Livestock farming is a very specialised business and we enjoy a good relationship with the Dufosee family who have high quality organic Ruby Red cattle and organic Poll Dorset and Dorset Horn sheep. Livestock farming is a business that requires great attention to detail and is ideally suited to family farmers where there is great continuity in terms of how the animals are monitored and cared for. Pertwood’s own personnel also play a role in checking the animals continuously.