Trevor and Karen Telling of Bonhurst Farm have farmed in Bramley for 20 years. Trevor is from a farming family and was born in Wiltshire, His father, Reg Telling, moved with his family to Surrey in the 1960’s and Trevor worked alongside his father for many years untill his death in 2001. Karen, having been married for 26 years, has always been involved in the running of the farm, does all the farm paperwork, helps with the sheep and rears the orphan lambs.
A Lambing Story
They run a closed flock of 500 ewes on the farm. This consists of a flock of North Country mules and Welsh lleyns. They use Suffolk, Charollais and lleyn rams. The lleyns are proving a much more versatile breed and they are breeding their own replacment ewes. They are smaller and more manageable when it comes to lambing. On the whole, they lamb more easily and there seem to be fewer Lleyn orphans in comparison with the mules as they ‘mother up’ with their lambs more quickly.
The ewes are fed home grown top quality hay in the winter and a concentrated feed ration two months before lambing to ensure they receive the correct amount of protein and vitamins. This year they are growing their own oats, which will be fed to the ewes at which time, everything the sheep eat will be home grown. All the lambs are born and raised on the farm. They are naturally reared outdoors on ewe’s milk, grass, stubble, turnips, sunshine, rain and fresh air.
Bonhurst farm is a member of FABBL (Farm Assured British Beef & Lamb) and follows strict guidelines with regard to welfare and medical treatments.