Home to the award winning Blackdown Flock of Pedigree Poll Dorsets, this working farm has been here for many generations. The Langford family have brought the facilities up to date for modern, performance recorded sheep farming; restored traditional buildings, and kept the ground under Environmentally Sensitive Area guidelines before entering the Higher Level Scheme of agricultural management. Miles of hedges have been laid and fenced, ponds cleared and new woodland planted. 7 hives of Blackdown Bees are now set amongst the field margins.
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The Blackdown Flock
Pedigree Poll Dorset Sheep at Great Garlandhayes Farm
The Blackdown Flock of Pedigree Poll Dorsets is a closed flock of superior genetic merit, with a high health status. It is managed using modern methods, but makes the most of their traditional characteristics.
Located a few miles to the east of the Wellington Monument on the northern Blackdown Hills, the farm is largely within the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme, which supports maintaining the fields and hedgerows in a traditional fashion. At nearly 1000 feet above sea level, the farm sits high within this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The farm, through the Waitrose Farming Partnership, is a supporter of FWAG. The farm is permanent grassland, uses practically no fertiliser, and only spot sprays to manage invasive weeds. Soil trace elements are analysed every ten years and supplemented, if needed.
Minimum inputs mean that the stock has to work hard to earn its keep; making it a lean and hardy, yet healthy flock. Lambing only in the autumn; outside on grass, where they are then reared, ensures the out of season lambing characteristics are retained. Use of the data from Signet recording, matched to close visual inspection, means only the highest quality stock is kept for replacements and sale.