Home Farm and Estate
Hartpury College Farm and Estate comprises 423.46 ha of which some of the land is rented under farm business tenancies and annual growing licences. A neighbouring farmer grows forage maize on a contract with Home Farm.
The main farming areas are: Home Farm, Lower Buttersend, Overton Farm, Upleadon, Linton farm and Rectory Farm (Maisemore). The management of the College Farm and Estate has been sub-contracted to Velcourt Limited since 2006.
Livestock enterprises include a 400 ewe flock, 250 cow dairy unit.
The main cropping across the farm comprises a 3 stage rotation growing wheat, forage and combinable maize and temporary grass leys. Most permanent pasture is used for hay production and grazed by the sheep flock and dairy youngstock.
The farm is used widely for teaching across both FE and HE within Agriculture and Animal and Land Science and is used for student and staff research projects.
Involvement with College Farm and Estate enterprises ensures students benefit from:
- Active participation in routine farm and game keeping duties.(Agricultural and game management students gain experience in the commercial functions associated with the farm and shoot by undertaking regular routine duties under the direct supervision of farm and estate staff. In addition to gaining practice in husbandry skills, students have the opportunity to demonstrate other competences – awareness of health and safety, time-keeping, attention to detail and team working. The farm is also used widely in HE teaching and students can sometimes assist in such activities as milking and lambing. The observation of activities such as hoof-trimming and routine veterinary procedures are valuable learning opportunities.
- Livestock and fieldwork under the supervision of teaching and technical instructors.(Agricultural students undertake some routine veterinary tasks, livestock practical skills, estate skills and farm machinery operation in small groups to ensure that they link practice with theory. The range of livestock units in particular supports an extensive range of teaching and learning opportunities in carefully supervised conditions. Final year undergraduates are able to use the range of animals available on the farm for their dissertation projects, under appropriate supervision. The college estate is also a valuable resource. As an undergraduate there is also an opportunity to get involved with some of the routines procedures that take place at the farm including milking, lambing and observing the vet.
- Practical facilities which support countryside skills, woodland management and game keeping.(The College Estate provides the opportunity to demonstrate conservation management theory (for example wildlife surveying skills) and practices along with skills such as fencing, hedge maintenance and woodland planting, maintenance and cropping. The woodland and the lake form the basis of on-site environmental management teaching in the context of a commercial farming environment. The College Shoot provides a commercial setting for game management students to practice a range of practical skills associated with the rearing and management of a range of game bird species.
- Information for lesson, assignments and research.(The College Farm and Estate operates an 'open book' approach to all aspects of its commercial farming and estate operations. This provides a wealth of data and information for both students and staff. Weekly farm reports are produced to supplement this guide.