Cheswell Grange - Neil Harley

Neil Harley. Shropshire

The farmer

Neil Harley took over an arable farm and is converting it to pasture. The farm operates a Holistic Management system and he farms without artificial fertilisers or sprays. Cows move few days to fresh pasture helping to sink carbon into the soil and the turkeys follow the cattle in a rotational system being moved every 2-3 days. They live outside but spend their nights in a mobile coop to protect them, this coop is moved by hand onto fresh pasture. 

The animals

This is the first year that Neil has raised turkeys on the farm, he has chosen a breed simply called White. These birds are known for a delicate and mild flavour that will be enhanced by the rich and varied diet of pasture, insects and supplemental grains.

The land

The farm is 780 acres and has been farmed by the same family for five generations.  There is currently 360 acres of pasture that has been created since the spring of 2017, helping to restore soil health and improve biodiversity. The grazing ground is holistically managed, and chemical free. This locks up carbon underground and hopefully allows natural processes to return the soil ecosystems to full health in turn allowing our ecosystem and the food we eat to get healthier. There are numerous areas set aside for nature and biodiversity including flower rich margins and wild bird feeding plots.  The farm is PFLA Certified. Pasture fed for life! 

The turkeys follow cattle in a regenerative grazing system restoring fertility to what used to be arable land.