Farm & Estate
Farming has always been at the heart of the Estate and still remains the largest part of the business at Dillington. The Estate encompasses around 3,000 acres, most of which is farmed by the Estate itself, but some is managed by our tenant farmers, all of whom have lived and farmed the same holdings for generations.
Farm Manager Ollie Blackburn looks after the farm, which is run with a long-term philosophy and the aim of sustainably managing the Estate for future generations, and balancing the often conflicting aims of farming profitably, looking after the people who live and work on and around Dillington, and managing the natural habitats and soil.
Our farming activities are spread across the combinable enterprise, which includes winter and spring wheat and barley, oilseed rape, and the dairy enterprise now with ~350 milking cows for which we also grow grass and maize. By spreading our activities across these enterprises we can manage our risk across the vagaries of the different agricultural markets and better maintain our soils and natural resources.
We are proud to be a net zero farming business with a holistic approach to linking food production and environmental benefit. The Farm has a keen focus on utilisation of manures and digestates, reducing our dependency on inorganic fertilisers for crop production.
Across the Estate we are also committed to several environmental stewardship agreements (both Entry and Higher Level Stewardship schemes), but even outside of these schemes we aim to farm responsibly, minimising the impact of our farming practices on the environment. In our view this also goes hand-in-hand with good farming practices; using new technology such as GPS mapping systems to ensure accuracy when applying sprays and fertilizer, and yield and soil mapping to assist in the accurate application of lime, phosphate and other additives makes good farming and business sense as much as it reduces the impact of our activities on the environment around us.