http://www.soilassociation.org/visitanorganicfarm/visitanorganicfarm/articleid/1352/higher-hacknell-farm-devon
Higher Hacknell Farm, Devon

Visit an organic farm

Higher Hacknell Farm, Devon

Lying above the Taw Valley in the heart of Devon, the 140 hectares (ha) of Higher Hacknell have been farmed organically by Tim and Jo Budden since 1988. The award winning farm demonstrates excellent organic production and environmental practice.

Livestock and crops

The farm has a pedigree herd of south Devon cows with their calves and followers. The cattle graze the pasture in rotation with sheep to prevent the build up of pests and provide a clean, healthy grazing system. The Buddens also grow 28 ha of cereals in the rotation, including barley, oats and triticale (a cross between rye and wheat). Some is sold as seed for other organic farmers to grow crops from.

Conservation

Lady’s smock, trefoils, ragged robin and orchids flourish in the traditional wet hay meadows, known locally as culm grassland. These form a valuable habitat for rare birds like curlew and snipe. Well-maintained hedgerows provide wildlife corridors. The farm has about 12 ha of native woodland, some of which has been planted in the last ten years. Otters and red deer often visit the woodland and its three ponds.

Traditional orchard

Cider apple orchards were once a common feature on Devon farms and the one at Higher Hacknell has been carefully restored. The farm produces its own cider using an old press, revitalising a centuries old farming tradition.

Marketing

Higher Hacknell was the first farm to develop a meat box scheme, delivering award-winning produce direct to the customer at an affordable price. The Buddens sell all their meat direct to the consumer, increasingly via the farm’s website. They are also developing a producer group to give other organic farms in the area new opportunities to market their produce.  

Arranging a visit   

Visitors are welcome by prior arrangement. Guided tours and training courses are available for groups throughout the year. Please call to find out about availability and prices.  

How to get there   

By train: From Exeter St Davids on Tarka Line to Portsmouth Arms (two miles).
By road: From A377 at Colleton Mills, take road up to Burrington, continue straight through village and on for approximately one mile until you reach Red Post Cross. Turn right here down the farm lane to Higher Hacknell.  
By bike: Find your route on the Sustrans website         

Contact details