http://www.soilassociation.org/visitanorganicfarm/visitanorganicfarm/articleid/1411/the-croft-cumbria
The Croft, Cumbria

Visit an organic farm

The Croft, Cumbria

The Croft is a 40 ha organic farm lying just outside Carlisle with a separate parcel of land at Armathwaite. The farm rears pedigree Longhorn cattle, sheep and poultry and produce is available from the farm. The land was owned by the same family in 1350 – why not visit the farm to find out how it is managed organically today.

Organic livestock

Longhorn cattle were once one of the main beef breeds in the country and were one of the first ‘improved’ breeds during the agricultural revolution in the 1700’s. Now Longhorns are a rare sight but The Croft is helping to save the breed by rearing them for quality beef. The cattle graze the pastures in rotation with sheep to organically prevent the build-up of parasites. Free-range laying hens produce eggs and geese are reared for the Christmas market.

Woodland, wetland and wildlife

The small oak wood is around 250 years old and this was extended in 1998 when each child at Houghton School planted a tree to celebrate the school’s 40th birthday. The old hedgerows are being managed and a small pond provides a habitat for water loving creatures. The wetland meadow is rich in wildflowers, including orchids in the early summer. A two hectare community woodland was planted in 1993 - the first community woodland in the north west of England.

Garden and orchards

The walled garden and small orchards now produce a range of fruit and vegetables including salads, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbages, artichokes and asparagus. Soft fruit includes strawberries, raspberries, black, red & white currants and gooseberries. Top fruit includes apples, pears, damsons and plums.

Direct Sales

The Croft has sold its meat, fruit and vegetables direct from the farm for a number of years, and surplus produce is also available from local farmers markets. The farm is part of Hadrian Organics – a co-operative of seven local organic farms that have a stall at local farmers markets, shows and events.  

Arranging a visit   

Schools and groups are welcome to visit The Croft by arrangement to find out more about how organic food is produced and the wildlife on the farm. Contact the farm for more details.  

How to get there   

From Carlisle take the B6264, Brampton Rd, at The Near Boot pub turn left along Houghton Rd. The Croft is 3/4 mile from the junction and the first building on the left. From J44 of M6 take the A689 to Houghton, after 1/2 mile turn right into the village, The croft is the last house on the right.  
By bike: Find your route on the Sustrans website         

Contact details