About the farm

We are lucky to have a wonderful team at Ethy and our aim remains simple: to rear the finest pedigree South Devon cattle, to produce the finest beef in the country, and to have a proper good time doing it.

Lucy and Tom started farming at Ethy in 2006. “It was a wonderful opportunity to continue the farming at Ethy which is located in a very special quiet corner of Cornwall”.

The original Ethy Estate was owned by the St Aubyn family of St Michael’s Mount. In 1953 when it was bequeathed to the National Trust. At the time of the transfer to the National Trust, Ethy was tenanted by the Liddicoat family who had been farming there since 1925.

In 1982 the Robson family took over the tenancy.  They purchased the farm in 1992 and continued (leaving the Trust with Ethy Park and creek-side Woodlands) continuing their operations until the Earl family took over in 2006. Tom was new to the area (pointed out by many a local!)  but Lucy’s family has been involved in farming at Kernock near Pillaton since the turn of the last century.

“What makes Ethy truly special is it’s quiet setting near the South East Cornwall coast and idyllic Fowey Estuary, which can be seen from the upper reaches of the farm.

Ethy is also steeped in history going back to Norman times, and keeping the continuity of Ethy has been an important part of Tom and Lucy’s work.  As Tom says – “All the restoration we’ve done at Ethy since 2006 has been mindful of the past.  Slowly, through the restoration of buildings – such as the mill , or the water systems, one realises why things are the way they are.  You understand the natural rhythm and flow of the farm.  This is hopefully reflected in the details which exist on the farm today.

In such a significant transformation of the farm, we’ve been fortunate to have been supported by so many talented local craftsmen  – many of whom are listed in the friends section of the site. We’ve also been tremendously well supported by local farms such as Collon Barton, Tregays, Highgate and Burn Farm. Without this support network  the endeavours of the last  ten years would have been hard to imagine. You know who you are – thank you!”

 

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A Growing Herd

At first, most of the farm was let on a grazing tenancy.  We then started with a few Belted Galloways (and a little Riggit Galloway) bought from Anton Coaker on Dartmoor.  Fast forward nine years and Ethy is now a fully commercial operation – with a growing herd of pedigree South Devon cattle.

Pedigree Stock

It was 2009 when we first tried South Devons, purchased at the Pedigree Exeter Spring Auction.  We quickly realised the potential of this high quality, fast-growing, gentle-natured breed.  Over 2010 and 2011, we gradually purchased the best stock possible from a range of the country’s top quality breeders – listed in our “Foundation stock” page.

We’ve learnt many, many lessons building a herd of pedigree cattle from scratch – particularly the need to be meticulous about incoming stock health, and to choose stock from the most consistent quality  breed prioducers. In some cases a century of hard work gone into their herds – and it has been a true privilege to buy foundation stock from them.

 

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On the 300 acres we farm, we also have a growing flock of 350 ewes.  We grow corn and wheat to keep us self-sufficient in straw and home-grown winter feed.  Then there’s the pheasant shooting (and missing) at Ethy that hinds us together in the winter.  More on that another time.