Cheshire Grassland Society Summer Tour 2016

Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th June

The M6 Corridor – Cumbria

A tour of exceptional, interesting and diverse farms including James Robinson and Robert Craig who spoke at the February and March meetings.

Cost £160 per person sharing a room. £15 supplement for a single room.

Price includes lunch on both days and two evening meals.


Depart from Reaseheath College at 7.00am – Breakfast on route.

James Robinson – Strickley Farm, Kendal. James and his family run a 275 acre organic dairy farm, milking 130 pedigree shorthorns plus 130 young stock. They are very forage driven, with over 3000 litres of the 7000 litre herd average coming from forage. They have been fully organic for 7 years. James is the 5th generation of Robinsons to farm at Strickley.

Chris Addison – Greystone House, Kings Meaburn, Penrith. Chris has farmed organically for eight years. The farm extends to some 450 acres. Stock include 150 dairy cows, predominantly Montbeliarde, Swedish Red and Fleckvieh. These are grazed using New Zealand methods. They have an average yield of 7000 litres. They also have 200 pedigree Simmental beef cattle and also have store lambs from September to February. Some cereals are grown for use as home feed. The farm is in HLS and also has a biomas unit.

Stephen and Claire Bland – Abbot Lodge, Clifton, Penrith. The Bland’s run a very successful and renowned ice cream farm and shop selling over 30,000 scoops a year from 40 different flavours. The milk is supplied from their own pedigree herd of 250 Jersey cows on the 230 acre tenanted farm. The herd averages 6,500 litres at 5.4 per cent butterfat and 3.9 percent protein. Stephen and Claire took on the tenancy of the farm in 2000 and since then have developed the on farm tea rooms and also made some significant changes including a new parlour and have also restored 7000 metres of hedgerow.

Evening Accommodation at The Best Western Shapwells Hotel – Situated in a secluded, wooded valley, high in the Shap Fells and surrounded by mountain streams yet only minutes from the M6. The rooms have breath taking views of the surrounding countryside and fells, offering a true taste of the English countryside. Website –


Andrew and Margaret Smith – Cotehill Farm, Brampton, Carlisle.

The Smiths are first generation Dairy farmers. Since 2002 they have developed a contract farming agreement with Castlehead Estates. They run 430 cows plus followers on a Spring calving grazing system. They aim to have cows at grass for 300 days of the year. Andrew and Margaret will demonstrate how they operate their system in one of the wettest parts of the country.

Robert Craig – Cairnhead Farm, Ainstable, Carlisle

Robert’s home farm consists of 180ha with 400 spring calving cows and followers. Robert has grown this business from a traditional dairy farm with 80 cows and sheep to an intensive grazing system today. The farm is managed day to day by George Brown an up and coming young manager, who we will be meeting on the day.

Robert Craig and Steve Brandon – Dolphenby Farm, Edenhall, Penrith

Robert and Steve operate a joint venture on the tenanted Dophenby Farm in the Eden Valley. The 700 acre unit has 600 cows and followers and has recently been converted into a superbly managed, highly efficient New Zealand style spring calving grazing system, with new cows tracks a new milking parlour and associated facilities.

A meal on the way home at the Tickled Trout Hotel – Junction 31 of the M6.

For more information and/or to book a place please contact;

Mark Bowes (Chairman) 07767778680 or

Will Gill (Vice Chairman) 07780578069 or

Please make cheques payable to Cheshire Grassland Society and send with the completed form to the address below no later than Friday 8th April to secure your place.

Will Gill

50 Byron Walk