NATIVE BREEDS FARM
Maydencroft Manor Native Breeds Farm is a family business based on a working farm. It is owned by the Williams Family - a partnership of two generations. We are passionate about the heritage native breeds reared here and our sustainable, low input, high welfare farming methods.
We are proud to continue to use traditional farming methods, farming extensively rather than intensively with minimum input. We believe this is better for our animals, the environment and our customers too. As a reflection of our traditional farming methods, availability of our beef fluctuates in line with the seasons. Check out availability of our summer or winter boxes.
We pioneered conservation grazing and our English Longhorn cattle and heritage breed sheep are used throughout the south east of England on our regional meadows, conservation sites and historic parkland.
Conservation grazing means using selected native breeds to improve the wildlife diversity of sensitive and historic landscapes. Farming methods on this type of land are carefully managed with minimal or no input of pesticides or fertiliser. This means grazing has to be extensive with fewer animals spread widely and rotated regularly, rather than intensive high input farming.
As a native heritage breed, English Longhorn are perfectly adapted for conservation grazing, allowing both cattle and wildlife to thrive. English Longhorn eat a wide variety of natural vegetation including aggressive weeds and bushy scrub, which quickly dominate unmanaged land, and they are rotated regularly so that their pasture doesn't have to be 'fed' with chemical fertilisers. This grazing method means many different plant and wildlife species flourish around them. It also makes the beef much healthier.
The welfare of our livestock is our priority and they are grass fed as nature intended.
All the sheep and the breeding Longhorn cows are outside year round, with calves at foot for at least six months. Longhorn cows live to an unusually old age so we get to know our breeding herd like old friends.
The Longhorn steers for finishing are looked after in airy indoor-outdoor barns only during the winter months, where they are fed our own silage and hay crops. Our experience of this native breed allows us to slowly and naturally mature our steers for longer, usually 30 months.
We do not routinely administer antibiotics in our herds and flocks.
The care we take during the lifetime of the cattle continues to the end of life and we ensure minimum stress in our methods of transport and processing.
At Maydencroft Manor we breed from our own herd with no steers being finished by us unless we have bred them ourselves. We select only the best breeding animals, improving both our own herd and the Longhorn breed, to create exceptional, well adapted cattle and superlative beef.
Our environmental commitments are particularly important to everyone involved in Maydencroft. All of our land is within Higher Level Stewardship agreements, which means we are committed to meeting strict environmental expectations.
This has allowed a variety of local wildlife to thrive on our lands, including rare species such as the Grey English Partridge, which we have in abundance.