Land

Cranborne Estate

 

The Estate runs from near Sixpenny Handley and Pentridge in the West, through Cranborne and towards Ringwood Forest at Alderholt in the East.

Much of this land formed part of the ancient royal medieval hunting grounds known as Cranborne Chase.

The wide and open expanse of the chalk downs in the West give way to smaller mixed farms and woodland in the East. Much of the Estate is within the Cranborne Chase AONB.

 

 

Cranborne Estate

Farming, Food & Conservation

Cranborne takes the business of farming and the environment seriously. Our home farm produces arable crops of wheat, barley, oats and oilseeds. Our farm tenants farm in a similar way but also produce beef and lamb.

We have planted, restored and laid many miles of hedges in recent years and have an annual programme of creating new and repairing old ponds and water features.

 

Farming Clusters

We are part of the Martin Down Farmer Cluster – where we pool together our efforts to improve wildlife habitats on a landscape scale as the farmers that border the National Nature Reserve at Martin Down. We have an ‘open week’ in June each year where we open the farm to local schools and host an Open Farm Sunday event.

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Our conservation policies are focussed on providing habitats that support pollinating insects; winter food for farmland birds and spring nesting cover for ground nesting birds. We have growing populations of corn bunting, yellow hammer, lapwing, native grey partridge and also turtle dove. Soils are vital as sink for sequestering carbon from the atmosphere and our min or no-till practices are designed to maximise the contribution we can make to society’s need to mitigate climate change.

Our crops end up as flour for biscuits and some bread-making; Carling and Carlsberg beer; animal feeds and our oilseeds will end up variously as cooking oil, bio-fuel to be blended with diesel or frying.

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Cranborne Estate

24 August 2021 - Helping our soil micro-organisms to thrive

We are trialling different no-till drills here this summer. We are looking hard at whether we can move the minimum amount of soil to establish our crops. Combined with cover crops over the winter, we are planting grass with this New Zealand drill and we will therefore have green cover on all our land, all year. We hope this will lock-in more carbon and help our soil micro-organisms thrive. It will also help prevent run-off and provide good cover for our wintering birds.

Cranborne Estate

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