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Christchurch Park, Ipswich, Suffolk
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Orwell View Barns Holiday Cottages Information
Richard and Hazel are the third generation of this branch of the Wrinch family to farm here.
The farm comprises 520 acres of mixed arable land and a further 110 acres of marshland, which is part of the Orwell SSSI - a nationally important area for wading birds. It is also a RAMSAR site and a SPA (Special Protection Area).
The River Orwell is considered by some to be the most ornithologically diverse estuary in Suffolk. As our marshes are situated in close proximity to both the Orwell and Stour and also to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve on Trimley marshes, they are of vital importance for breeding passage migrant and wintering waders and wildfowl.
The working farm is situated at Shotley Hall Farm. Our 280 sow pig herd used to be at Charity Farm, but sadly this closed in 2007 due to environmental constraints. Orwell View Barns at Hill House Farm used to house Suffolk horses until tractors took over. After that, they provided winter quarters for our single suckler beef herd, which grazed the marshes in the summer months. We sold our beef herd in 2002, as it had beome uneconomic.
Today, the farm is purely arable, and we grow winter wheat, spring barley, oats, sugar beet, potatoes and will grow onions for the first time in 2017.. .
The barns, now developed as luxury holiday cottages, are named after Thames sailing barges that were owned by the family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They carried hay and straw to London and returned with horse manure as fertiliser for the land. There is a display / history of the family's involvement with barges in the games room.
In the summer of 2007, we were privileged to be awarded the Kerr Cup, which is the Suffolk Farming and Wildlife Group's Farm Conservation Award, which reflects our care for habitats.
We also joined the DEFRA Higher Level Conservation Scheme.
In the autumn of 2015 our farming area quadrupled and we now farm blocks of land at Stutton, Harkstead, and adjacent to the approach to Alton Water,