We manage and farm over 19,000 acres of North East Wiltshire, West Berkshire and North Hampshire. The home farms are centred on the village of Ramsbury which nestles in the heart of the Kennet Valley.
Open country and large rolling fields are the main feature of this area, interspersed with beech woods and thorn hedges. Made up of solid chalk, these rolling hills support a fantastic variety of flora and fauna as they rise to 250 metres above sea level. The tops of the ridges are heavy clay with flints as the dominant feature.
Steep chalk land escarpments traditionally grazed by sheep produce a profusion of high pH loving plants and flowers.
The estate covers open land, and over 2,500 acres of woodland and forestry.
What we do…
As well as farming in hand approximately 7,000 acres growing Wheat, Barley, Oil Seed Rape and Field Beans, managing a shoot and woodland habitat, we also have a beef herd of Aberdeen Angus x South Devon and some Highland Cattle. The estate started to diversify into other rural and business ventures too. We built our brewery in 2004, the distillery in 2014, a smokehouse in 2014 and an oil press in 2015.
The Oilseed Rape which is identified by its bright yellow flowers is harvested in July/August. The tiny black seed is then dried, processed and sent to our oil press. This press is so simple….just pressing the seeds until the oil runs out. As much as 45% of that black seed is oil. The residue as with the by-products from the brewery and distillery are fed to the cattle on the farm.
Each year our main bulk products go to different homes, whether it be barley for the malting industry, wheat for bread making in all its forms either in the UK or for export, field beans for consumption in the Middle East or animal and pig/poultry food. Some of the crops could well end up in packaging etc as many bio-resins are mixed with fibre for internal car panels etc.
Farming And Countryside Education project 2017:
Here at Ramsbury Estates we are passionate about what we do and looking after the rural environment. We feel the time is right to share this passion and knowledge with the younger generation. Working with our Tenant Farmers and Action for River Kennet, we are able to offer school visits to our Dairies, River habitat, Downland, Woodland habitat, conservation areas and at specified times of the year to see lambing and a trout fishery. A level students may well be interested in the scientific side of brewing.