We see the farm as a natural habitat that can function in healthy collaboration with both human and wildlife needs.
Our fields have been used for cattle and sheep grazing for 300 years or more.
The name Katewell is from the Norse and means river valley of the cattle, or place of milking.
The whole site is aimed at being a place for nature connection, observation and learning. There will be little info signs springing up around the place as we get more established.
We can offer half day workshops on the below...
- Permaculture - designing regenerative lifestyles
- Sustainable building practices and renewable energy
- Observing and learning from habitats
Plant-rich diets reduce carbon emissions and also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic disease. We mulched three long beds with manure and seaweed last year, which provided much of our fresh vegetables this year..
Chickens are great gardeners. They can turn your compost pile, provide pest control and till your garden. We are enjoying eggs from a lively flock of Well Summer, Sussex and Barnevelder chooks.
Traditional orchards are wildlife havens. They were recognised as a UK Priority Habitat for conservation as they provide food and shelter for thousands of animals and plants, many of which are species of high conservation priority themselves.
Sheep are excellent natural lawnmowers, keeping weeds down and manuring at the same time. They improve soil health and reduce soil compaction if replacing machinery. Our Castle Milk Muirit sheep are a hardy and primitive breed of real characters.
Tall grasslands tend to include nectar-rich plants, in turn attracting hover flies, butterflies, moths and bees. The habitat will also be more likely to support small mammals and even reptiles.
Honey bees are some of the most important crop pollinators. They increase production of about 75 percent of crop species. We have re-introduced one colony and hope to have a few more by 2021.