The Handy family have been farming arable and livestock at Hampen for over 220 years.
We are Clive and Lydia Handy and we are the 7th generation custodians of this magical farm high up in the Cotswold AONB. Caring for the environment and creating a haven for wildlife is integral to our mixed farming system.
We farm sustainably, always looking to increase our biodiversity and improve our soil health for future generations to enjoy.
Acres of Farmland
Years in the Same Family
7th Generation Custodians
Environmental Projects (and counting!)
We have a flock of pedigree Devon Closewool sheep, a breed designated as a rare minority breed on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust watchlist. They are a wonderful dual-purpose sheep, providing delicious sweet meat and copious quantities of thick, glorious wool. They are a joy to have on the farm, easy to handle and fabulous mothers.
We sell lamb boxes and mutton packs to local customers and process the wool for sale as beautiful woven blankets, throws and accessories as well as yarn. We also sell yarn naturally dyed with plants grown and foraged on the farm.
The farm offers an abundance of forage for honeybees, bumblebees, solitary bees and a host of other pollinating insects. We are passionate beekeepers and manage our hives to keep the bees healthy and productive so we can harvest surplus honey for sale. Beeswax is used to make wonderful candles, soap and balms.
Sainfoin is a fantastic plant, as a forage crop, a nectar plant for bees, for improving soils and fixing nitrogen as well as being drought resistant. As a forage crop it has many benefits including reducing methane production in stock, anthelmintic properties to reduce the need for chemical wormers and increased growth rates in young livestock. It is also a beautiful flower and should be grown in every garden. We grow it to harvest the seed for selling to other farmers to plant in their grassland and herb leys and we are also selling small packets for gardeners.
We own a small number of pedigree Ruby Red Devon cattle which we use for conservation grazing and for breeding. Together with the sheep and traditional haymaking, the cattle are an essential element of wildflower meadow management. Their dung is also important for the dung beetles to feed our resident bats. Other conservation crops include herb leys, pollen and nectar mixes, wild bird food mixes and floristically enhanced grassland.
The farm is a patchwork of small fields bordered by wide field margins, hedges and dry Cotswold stone walls providing cover for wildlife to move about safely. There are also mature woodlands and areas of newly planted indigenous hardwoods providing a greater diversity of habitats for wildlife.