About Owls Barn
My wife Lizzie and I (Ron) have farmed this land traditionally since 1989. This means we do not to use any artificial fertilisers, synthetic pesticides, hormones or prophylactic drugs when rearing our animals, and to feed them naturally. This, to us, is just good practice and something we have done for many years. Because of this , and our traditional hanging methods, the taste and quality of our meat is exceptional.
In the summer of 2005 the New Forest Marque was launched which is the mark of free range produce, produced within the boundries of the New Forest, which we at Owls Barn complies with as a Farm and Shop. Our pork comes from free rangeing pigs some of which have pannaged for acorns in the Forest - these help to make our delicious New Forest sausage.
Owls Barn Farm is situated on the eastern edge of the New Forest on the Hampshire - Dorset border in the village of Sopley. Just click 'Location' in the main menu for a map. (You can zoom in or out, get directions and print etc.)
Our land is made up of ESA water meadows on the River Avon and parkland that was once part of Sopley Manor House. 100 acres of further land is farmed at Hillside, 2 miles away at Ripley, which is rough pasture converted from forestry in the 1950's.
Owls Barn Farm and farm shop were converted from the old Wheelwright's workshop on the former Sopley Estate in 1995.
Under a free range system you need hardy, disease resistant stock. We find that traditional English Hereford cattle and Dorset Horn or Poll Dorset sheep suit the system best. We also keep Llanwenog sheep, which lamb in the spring, whilst the Dorset sheep lamb in the autumn, providing the shop with fresh, tasty meat all year round. All our animals are fed on a natural diet of grass, hay and cereal feeds.