Manor Organic Farm, Leicestershire
Graeme Matravers and his wife Vivienne took over the tenancy of Manor Farm in 1994 and immediately set about converting it to organic. Today it is home to a pedigree flock of Lleyn and Polled Dorset sheep, a beef herd of local rare breed Longhorn cattle, chickens, geese and ducks and Christmas turkeys. And if that doesn’t keep everyone busy enough, there’s an organic farm shop and an organic bakery plus a beautiful tea room in the converted granary.
Local wildflowers – grown to specifically to attract beneficial insects such as lacewings, hoverflies and ladybirds – flourish in maintained hedgerows. The farm is part of a Higher Level Environmental Stewardship and Graeme and Vivienne have planted over 1800 trees. An integrated rotation means crops can be grown specifically for the farm’s needs including wheat which is milled at a windmill in Nottingham and used in the bakery.
“We believe that organic farming is a positive philosophy, and is more than just avoiding the use of artificial chemicals and fertilisers. It is an approach to farming which views the farm as a whole system in harmony with the natural surroundings and nature itself.” says Graeme.
Graeme and Vivienne welcome visitors, including schools, to the farm and hold open days throughout the year.