The Benacre Estates Farms
The Benacre Farms Company farm approximately 2300 acres of land tenanted from the Benacre Estates Company, with many different enterprises and operating a conservation policy and with a close working relationship with English Nature. The farms run from the Coast in the east to Henstead in the west and from the River Hundred in the north to Potter Bridge marshes in the south. The land varies from blowing sand along the coast to stronger soils inland. Most of the area can be irrigated. Crops grown include:
Wheat, Barley, Rye, Field Beans, Rape, Hemp, Sugar Beet, Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips, Asparagus
The farms directly employ five members of staff. (Manager, Secretary, and three Tractor Drivers). This team are responsible for all the aspects of farming on the Home Farms. Our cropping is diverse and intensive with half the acreage growing combinable crops, quarter root crops and the remainder into set aside. These crops allow us to spread our workload throughout the year and help encourage wild life. Being part of a traditional rural estate the field size has remained small, all hedges are maintained and in recent years many have been replanted.
To enable us to grow the root crops irrigation is vital. At present water is supplied from our resevoirs. We operate eight irrigators during the season.
The Estate has recently instigated a hedgerow policy of improving and creating new hedges along field boundaries and encourage where possible the location of set aside to maximise the benefit for wildlife habitat. In addition, all farming tenants are encouraged to properly manage hedgerow boundaries, cutting at the appropriate time of year as well as being encouraged to leave certain areas of grassland uncut for nesting birds.