The Animals

White peacocks rub shoulders with free range pigs, we also have Angora goats, runner ducks and black rock chickens.

Across the estate visitors can see an array of interesting and beautiful livestock many of which provide produce for the house and kitchen.  The free range black rock chickens have two houses in the shady coppice and roam into the extensive grazing paddock beyond. Consequently the chickens and bantams produce fantastically rich and tasty eggs for the kitchen.

We also keep rare breed bantams, including White Leghorns, Modern English, Wyandottes and Sebrights. All are prolific layers well into the winter months. The Black Runner Ducks are kept with the poultry flock to protect them from the depredations of the local foxes. In the barnyard we also keep Fantail and Tumbler pigeons and white peacocks, which freely patrol the grounds.

From the lake at the nature reserve we take about 150 naturalised Rainbow Trout each season, sportingly caught on the dry fly, weighing between three and six pounds. From the barnyard we cull about 100 doves a year and shoot as many collared doves and any amount of wood pigeons we need at any season. The surrounding estate yields Muntjac venison and ground and flying game as needed in season.

The grazing paddocks are not only home to the pigs and chickens but are also part of the newly planted arboretum.

2010 also saw the introduction of bees and the production of the first pots of South Farm honey.