Lambshill - Strensall
Lambshill is an MOD farm covering 600ha, including the internationally important Strensall Common, supporting lowland heath and rare butterflies and moths. The majority of the farm is managed extensively without any artificial fertilisers. BHE have been farming the land since 1994 when they started with 500 ewes.
Today with Worlds End rented from Forest Enterprise and Stray land from York City Council BHE are running 870 Scots Black Face and Swaledale ewes crossed to the Blue Faced Leicester to produce gimmer lambs sold from 6 months of age. Wether lambs are sold as stores straight off grass before Christmas each year. Lambing starts in April / May to coincide with the availability of grazing on Strensall Common. It has to fit in with the Higher Level Stewardship prescriptions. All sheep must be taken off the common by the end of October and are moved onto winter grazing away from the main farm.
In 2010 a cattle enterprise was established to compliment the sheep grazing on Strensall Common and provide an enhanced grazing regime to improve the mosaic of habitats. Initially a combination of 55 suckler cows and store cattle were kept.
The enterprise has had to stop using suckler cows due to safety reasons on the public places. Now strong stirks young stock are sourced and used for the grazing programmes. The cattle are sold through Thirsk Auction Mart.
BHE has developed a good working relationship with the MOD, Natural England and York City Council and fully understand the need for livestock grazing to maintain the Lowland Heath and traditional pasture and help preserve the bio-diversity of these unique areas.