Our Cattle & Sheep
Graham Dawe now farms the valley with us. Having visited his farm in 2020 and seen what generational knowledge combined with a life spent dedicated to establishing biodiversity and nurturing it can bring to a landscape, we began discussing the viability of a farmshare at Coombeshead. His Devon cattle & Romney Sheep are reared next to the River Tamar on his farm and finished at Coombeshead, living off the land in an organic and sustainable system with regenerative agriculture at its heart.
Graham can be found each week moving our Red Devon cattle and Romney sheep through the valley. These animals are grazed as they used to be, moving regularly, improving our soils and pasture. Unlike most cattle in this country, Graham’s cattle live outside 365 days a year, a rare thing in this day and age, grazing on mature grass along with species rich haylage. They also have access to the hedgerows and woods to supplement their feed. They live 100% from what they can take from the land with no grain or concentrates in their diet.
These cattle are very hardy, indigenous to this area, coping well with wintering outside, and typically take 36-40 months to mature. We make use of the sheep throughout their lifetimes, not particularly swayed by spring lamb over hogget or mutton. These often graze behind the cows, with the Romney breed particularly adept at dealing with brush and bracken.
Through the valley system, we finish in the region of 40 bodies of beef per year, and 100 sheep, which is a mix of lamb & hogget, depending on the time of year.