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Feather Down Farm Days (Lipley Farm)

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We’re proud to be the first Feather Down Farm in Shropshire, the county the poet A.E. Housman described as ‘the quietest place under the sun’. Here we hope to give you a real insight into what it takes to produce milk from 130 Friesians and Holsteins.

Stephen is a third-generation Lancastrian dairy farmer who came south in 1983, bought the farm with his father, and never looked back. Wife Tracey and twins Edward and Harry make up the team, along with Andrew, our herdsman.

Four-legged members of our family include our pensioner whippet Lottie, our spaniels Josh and Freddie, and the latest addition Arthur, our young Scottish deerhound.

The farm was already a dairy farm when Stephen arrived, but reinvestment and modernisation are ongoing here. We milk about 130 cows at a time and during the summer, when the cows live out in the fields, they’re brought in at 6am and 4pm every day. A tanker also arrives daily to collect the milk, come bad weather, Christmas or any other significant event!

The five Feather Down tents are backed into Rushymoss Wood, home to many cuckoos and woodpeckers. The wood makes the tents feel sheltered, while the view from each is uninterrupted. Groups have often commented on how well the layout works for them.

Our Farm Larder is stocked with fresh food for you to make up meals at any time of day and in 2012 we’ll be providing homemade frozen meals. We have sausages, bacon and burgers that are produced at our local farm shop and eggs are of course free to collect from the chicken coop, which is communal. Groups also love the communal fire pit that brings everyone together in the middle of the field. Wood for this can be scavenged out of ‘The Moss’ – as the locals call the wood.

We've also just added private chicken coops here for your own private egg supply during your stay. Unfortunately, we can’t accommodate pets at Lipley Farm.

We invite guests to have a go at milking – by helping us to place the units on the cows’ udders. Our guests can’t believe Steve’s knowledge of the herd – he knows every cow by its number and doesn’t need to look at their freeze brands (the numbers on their bottoms). Younger guests love to test him on the Farm Tour! They also love seeing calves being born, and in 2012 our pig Flo had babies.

Steve and Tracey Pendlebury

Open from 29 Mar to 1 Nov

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