Duchy Invests in Agriculture

Lower Castle Hayes barn.  The Duchy of Lancaster has invested over £61,000 in the development of a new steel-frame livestock building at Lower Castle Hayes Farm on the Needwood Estate in Staffordshire. The new barn replaces the former traditional wooden Dutch barn which was no longer fit for purpose in terms of providing adequate shelter.

Tenant farmer Philip Smith and his son Matthew have successfully grown their dairy business over the last 20 years and currently manage a herd of 300 Holsteins and Montbeliarde cross cows at Lower Castle Hayes near Tutbury. Generating an average of 10,000 litres of milk per annum, they have led the way in terms of livestock management, applying the latest farming techniques and methodologies to their business.

Commenting on the new structure, Philip Smith said: “We are delighted to see the new barn up as we pride ourselves on ensuring the very best conditions for our livestock. The 635m2 structure provides better shelter, more space and allows us to build on the investment we made in accommodation for the herd in 2007.”

Duchy Head of Rural Christopher Sparrow added: “The dairy industry is under significant pressure at present and we are pleased to work with our tenants to help identify opportunities to improve efficiency, profitability and the environment for their herd.”

The Duchy of Lancaster owns 24 tenanted farms across Staffordshire, all of which are located on the 3,000-hectare Needwood Estate.