T W Brown and Son is a family partnership covering two generations of the Brown family. They have been farming in the Welland valley for around three hundred years. The farm is situated in the parishes of Caldecott and Lyddington in Rutland, about 5 miles north of Corby and three miles south of Uppingham.
The farm walk will encompass:
- Ridge and furrow fields linking in with geography and history (KS3)
- Animal husbandry, breeding and management, linking in with science and PSHE (KS2)
- Primary food production, growing crops, using fertiliser and sprays, linking in with science, history, and geography (KS3)
- The walk will start at the farm yard and we will then go south over the old railway line. We will look at a ridge and furrow field and discuss why it is the way it is. On the way we will see some livestock and their housing and discuss the reasons for the design of the buildings. The closure of the railway line will be discussed and the impact it had on the locality. Once over the railway we will be in an arable field and the reasons for growing certain crops will be explained. Also how we go about getting the most out of the land for the least environmental impact. There are areas of pollen and nectar mix and floristically enhanced margins as well as numerous nest boxes.
- The next field has a community woodland in it and we will talk about the different sorts of trees and the effect on wildlife etc. At the bottom of the woodland is the river Welland where we can talk about the wildlife in the river and how the valley came to be the shape it is and why settlements are where they are.
- We will also view an ancient oak tree which was hit by an Avro Lancaster in WW2. The plane went on to crash near Northampton about 20 miles away.
- The majority of the farm is owned by the Church Commissioners for England and the rents we pay go towards paying stipends and pensions for the clergy.There will be no farm operations taking place in the areas visited for the duration of the visit.
Most of the farm is clay loam soil, ideal for growing wheat and oilseed rape. Some of the fields are so low lying that they cannot be ploughed and remain as permanent pasture
Fairchilds Lodge is a lowland farm situated in the Welland valley. The landscape is typical of the gently rolling hills and valleys of Rutland
The climate here is of a temporate and maritime nature, with mild winters and cool summers. We receive less than average rainfall for the UK due to the rain shadow effect of the Welsh mountians. Average rainfall is about 75cm.
Who lives and works here
The current farm house was built in 2001 and is inhabited by Andrew and Louise Brown and their three children. Andrew Brown is the main farmer assited by his father.
Involvement under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and other schemes
Fairchilds Lodge has been in the Countryside Stewardship Scheme since 2000. This scheme is designed to enhance the bio-diversity of the landscape. Under this scheme we have put in 2m strips around all our arable fields and 10m ones next to water courses. We have erected owl and bat boxes and in 2004 planted a community woodland. In 2007 we were delighted to win the Farm Business/Farm life magazine Conservation Farmer of the Year Award at a ceremony in the House of Commons. In 2008 the farm was runner up in the countryside category of the Farmers Weekly Awards, it won the Leicestershire and Rutland FWAG Chairman’s Award and was highly commended in the Beautiful Farm Awards. In 2009 we won the Leicestershire and Rutland FWAG Barn Owl Trophy. After 2010 we entered the Higher level Environmental Scheme and have planted pollen and nectar strips as well as large areas of wild bird seed. A permissive bridleway has been installed on the Lyddington farm.
Using the land
Total Area: 250 hectares (620 acres)
Divided into: 150 hectares (370acres) Arable land
80 hectares (200 acres) Permanent pasture
2 hectares (5 acres) Buildings, yards, tracks.
3 hectares (7.5 acres) Community Woodland
Arable land use for 2013-14
Wheat 89 hectares (220 acres)
Beans 18 hectares (44 acres)
Oil Seed Rape (OSR) 36 hectares (89 acres)
Basic crop rotation
Wheat – Beans – Wheat – OSR with barley occasionally
600 ewes + their lambs