Colhayne Close is a registered smallholding of just under 10 acres (3.8Ha).
We have a small herd of Red Ruby Devon cattle and generally sell beef boxes once a year and hide rugs. Our flock of rare breed Portland sheep produce mutton, sheepskin rugs and fleeces as well as breeding stock for sale. Our flock of Black Welsh Mountain sheep – a minority native breed – also produce hogget, mutton, sheepskin rugs, fleeces and breeding stock. We have flocks of West of England geese; rare breed Norfolk Black turkeys; Buff Orpington and Old English Pheasant Fowl chickens and want to develop a flock of Ixworth chickens plus we have various cross bred geese wandering around the place.
We also have put about 1/2 an acre into a grazed orchard of local (rare breed !) apple – cider, eating and dessert , plum, pear, cherry and gage trees which should start producing fruit over the next few years. The trees are all local varieties (including one only found from Shute) from within Devon and one from over the border in Dorset got in!
We aren’t organic, but use minimum inputs for the field and animals. We are trying to achieve a balance to have the practical and natural on our small plot. The hedges have been allowed to grow which has improved shelter for the field and animals and in the last couple of years we can see the benefit in greater amounts of berries and nuts in the hedge for the wildlife. However, they still need controlling, and will be layed by hand over the next few years to restore them to their prime.