Wotton

Paula and Laurence Matthews run a mixed farm of arable and beef, at Manor Farm in Wotton, Surrey.

Laurence’s grandfather began farming about 381 acres in Wotton, from 1935 with a short horn dairy herd, pigs, poultry and arable. There was minimal mechanisation and 8-10 farm hands.

The business now farms almost 3,000 acres with ten landlords and 5 full time staff.

Diversification has included the conversion of disused poultry housing into a business park and the farm is in six HLS schemes.

The Wotton Herd of Belted Galloway’s was established in 2006. Having initially taken on a handful of cows and a bull locally and buying an additional group of cows with calves at foot soon after. In 2009 the Wotton herd began grazing the North Downs as part of a Higher Level Stewardship scheme for Natural England and the National Trust. The herd has been extensively grazed on grass, herbs and natural pastures and is Pasture For Life certified.

Paula runs the herd; usually spring calving 30, and just a few others later in the year. There will potentially be 45 calving in 2022.

Calving moved indoors for improved biosecurity.

Paula has been selling the beef direct from Manor Farm for 15 years.

There are increasing pressures from public access across the farm, particularly on the North Downs which being National Trust, is open access. It's also in the Surrey Hills AONB, close to London.

www.manorfarmsurrey.com