At Thoresby we farm a total of 3,400ha (8,400 acres). 2,700ha of this is arable land, with the remaining 700ha used as grazing for our heritage livestock. Some of our land is designated as Sites of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI) and National Nature Reserves (NNR).
We farm on two different types of soil on the estate – light sandy soil (Bunter Sandstone) and heavier (Keuper Marl) soil. We grow a range of different crops including:
- Bread-making wheat and wheat for animal feed.
- Vegetables – we grow 8,000 tonnes of potatoes – which is around 42 million individual potatoes, 2,500 tonnes of onions and 92 million carrots for the fresh vegetable market.
- Sugar Beet – we have 12,000 tonnes of quota, which works out at 2.2 million bags of sugar.
- Oilseed Rape used in cooking oils and biofuel.
- Maize – used in two Anaerobic Digesters, which produce methane gas used in the main gas grid.
- Spring Beans used for animal feed and for human consumption.
- Winter Barley for hybrid seed multiplication and Spring Barley for malting.
We have invested heavily in our farming enterprise over the past 20 years. This includes making our irrigation system as efficient as possible, and we have 22 rain guns that apply water to all crops on the sandy land, the water comes from rivers, winter storage reservoirs and boreholes.
We run a fleet of modern machinery, most of which is fitted with sophisticated GPS technology. This allows us to accurately apply nutrients and fertilisers with great accuracy, and record precisely what has been applied where, and to see how that crop has then performed using GPS captured yield data.
We offer a flexible range of contract farming and land rental agreements – please contact us for more information
Our heritage grazing operation includes 130 English Longhorn cows, their offspring, and a trio of bulls. They live for much for the year in the ancient oak woodland helping to enhance the biodiversity within this area. We work in close partnership with English Nature to keep this vital ecosystem healthy by controlling heather and brambles in a sympathetic and natural way.
We also have 250 Hebridean sheep, easily identified by their black wool. The sheep work in tandem with cattle on the heritage grazing land. The meat from both the Longhorn herd and Hebridean flock is available from Sherwood Game Farm Shop in the Courtyard.
As well as the livestock in our heritage grazing scheme, we also rear 2,000 sows (female pigs) and their piglets, which are reared outdoors. And we lamb around 950 mules every year that mainly graze the permanent grassland around Thoresby Park.