Farmer Profile: The Marston Family

EASGILL HEAD, KIRKBY STEPHEN


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Easgill Head Farm nestles amid a scattering of trees in a dip of land between Swaledale and Smardale, just a few miles from Kirkby Stephen. Rachel and Andrew Marston farm here with their three children and with Andrew’s parents – it’s a family business and the farm has been in Andrew’s family, on his mother’s side, for generations.

The farm gained national recognition on the BBC programme, Lambing Live, in 2011, and the interest that followed spurred the family on to convert a barn into a holiday house. They now welcome visitors from around the world who come because they’re interested in farming, and occasionally join in. But it’s not all bright lights and celebrity – the day-to-day life of farming continues regardless. Both Andrew and Rachel have a passion for breeding prize-winning Swaledale tups; they also keep  Beltex and Texel sheep, cross Swaledales with Bluefaced Leicesters to produce mules, and run a herd of suckler cows.

The farm entails roughly 400 acres of inside land, with grazing rights on the common, and from the higher fields the views are far reaching – Rachel describes them as breath taking. All the family love it here, and it seems the tradition of farming will be carrying on, with three daughters keen to be involved.

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