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Nature focused farming

Rewinding to restore biodiversity

Essebeare Farm, listed in the Doomsday Book, sits on ancient Culm grassland meadows nestled in a hidden and beautiful Devon valley within the UNESCO North Devon Biosphere. Native Red Ruby cattle and hardy Lleyn sheep roam the 90ha Pasture For Life certified organic farm which focuses on rotational grazing, hedge and bank restoration and agroforestry.

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Pasture raised and certified organic meat and genetics

We work with:

How we farm

We farm with trees and hedges

Lots on long rotation, providing shade shelter and food for birds and insects.

Our meadows

As old as the hills

The farm has been on a journey, rewinding to recreate some of the most special and biodiverse wildflower meadows in Devon. Moving from a poor baseline, to 6 species per m2 and then up to 15 per m2 in only 5 years. A celebration of nature’s recovery through quality management.

Meat, Fibre, Skins & Seeds

Taste Essebeare,
feel Essebeare

Our Ruby Red cattle graze on nutritious pasture that is grown in harmony with nature, helping to provide a habitat where insects, birds and plants can thrive while our livestock roam happily.

Get in touch to find out more about our produce and what is currently available.

Education work

Bring your young people. With a growing need to cultivate young minds in nature to heal our planet.

“Ears are always open and cognitive process firing where green spaces are integrated in the learning pathway”

We love welcoming young people to the farm, we work closely with our local primary school. Around 100 children come and learn about our biodiversity. We cover a lot – ecosystems, habitat, biology, climate science, numeracy, history. We are keen to re-imagine the integration of the curriculum with a Farm School model which is really exciting and fun. Please contact us if you would like to visit the farm. We can provide 25 visits per year to under 18's FOC as part of our Countryside Stewardship.

Our mantra

Rewind farming

We are looking back to go forward. Building back better biodiversity  in the shape of rich diverse meadows, woodland pastures and thick generous hedges that feed and hide birds and mammals.

Learn more about our inclusion in the Dayshul Brake farm cluster

Give land rest and space to do it’s thing

Our land usage

Photo courtesy of Martin Wright

30%

is restored species rich Culm hay meadows with 15 plants in a square meter. There is a serious weight of nature on these acres.

20%

is wild land returning to natural processes, including mature broadleaf woodland and wet fen meadows, pure carbon sink.

50%

is rotationally mob grazed pastures with many species of grasses, legumes and deep rooting herbs. They are resilient and great for building the soil community.

There is over 15km of hedgerow on the farm with over 7 years of growth

These are managed on a long coppice and traditional laying rotation. Providing shade, shelter and browse whilst cycling carbon.

In the last five years we have:

Planted 12,500 hedgerow trees and 200 fruit trees to bolster diversity

Two watercourses bound and confluence the land, running 3km

Stocked with brown trout and eel. Spawning gravel beds host visitors like salmon and graying. The river supports a myriad of life from the tiniest tardigrade to the solitary otter and perhaps one day a beaver or two.

Meet the team

We are a family partnership

Photo by Adrian Sherrat for The Guardian
Olly Walker

Lapping up the Devon dream job Olly came to farming in a roundabout way. He’s a true practical creative; an artist and filmmaker who previously helped run a social enterprise in Scotland. The forever-farming calling came unexpectedly in 2013. Retraining rapidly he studied on the organic PG dip at SRUC - talk about steep curve. He LOVES meadows!

Rachel Walker

A third farmer, a third GP and one third mother of four (5 if you count Olly ;) conscientious caring busy and efficient. She’s more cohesive than hug tight glue and has tirelessly nourished the farm dream with Olly. The future? She’s mindfully considering the public prescribing, diversification and wellness opportunities the farm presents.

Mary Hosier

Nurtures the beautiful cattle herd at Essebeare, diligently and analytically. A passionate breastfeeding advocate, working with the NCT for the past thirty years. She’s also chief chook chaser and head grower. Mary’s dad was the revolutionary legend, Arthur J Hosier OBE; ‘The wizard ofWexcombe‘ who, if you know your farming history, rewrote the rulebook on dairying and invented a mobile raw milking system.

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