Glendown Farm - Port St Mary, Isle of Man
Situated on the southeast corner of the Isle of Man is Glendown Farm, which has been farmed by the Qualtrough family (Jane's family) for 8 generations. It lies 100ft above sea level and rises to 500ft and then down to the coast and the cliff edges. The land is mainly north facing and ranges from easily worked ground to rough grazing and heath land. Rock is near the surface in many areas and results in grass burning in dry summer conditions, annual rainfall is approx 30 in.
The main enterprise on Glendown is a dairy herd of 86 dairy cows. The cows are milked twice a day, 365 days a year, at 6.45am and 4.30pm each day. The milk is stored in a refrigerated bulk tank for collection by the milk-tanker. It is then taken to the creamery for processing into milk for liquid sales or speciality cheeses for sale around the world.
Calves from the dairy cows are reared and fed with a bucket, some for replacement dairy cows and some for sale as growing cattle for the beef trade. Nicola and William have entered calves in the local agricultural show but not with any major success, yet!
The second enterprise at Glendown is a flock of 300 crossbred ewes and their lambs. The sheep have their lambs from the last week in March through into April. The lambs are born near to the farm for management purposes but are then moved out towards the Chasms for the summer. We also have small flocks of Manx Loughtan, Jacob and extremely hardy Herdwick sheep that spend most of their time around the farmhouse. The sheep are sheared at the beginning of June each year.
The main feed for the stock is silage which is fermented grass. The grass is cut, piled in a big heap, covered with plastic and weighted down with tyres. First cut silage is made at the end of May and second cut in mid July. We also make some big round bales of grass, wrap them in plastic, and feed them to the cattle during the winter. Some grain is grown to help to improve the land and to provide food and bedding for the animals.
We joined the Island's Agri-Environment scheme during 2003 and receive funding for the environmental management of the farm. This entails managing the land for the benefit of birds, such as lapwing and the very rare (in the U.K.) chough, coastal heath land and wild flower areas. Although the scheme has now finished, we continue to maintain over 800 metres of Blackthorn and Hawthorn hedging helping to look after the birdlife.
Over the last few years, the farm has hosted a number of farm tours for the public and for farmers. We also have annual visits from the local primary schools at lambing time to see the young lambs and for them to help feed any meg (orphaned) lambs that we have.
During 2004 part of the farm was used as a film set for a horror film called the Dark, starring Sean Bean.
There are many footpaths on the farm that are used by locals and visitors alike and take in some spectacular coastal scenery including the Sugarloaf Rock.
The unspoilt landscape and rural location of Glendown Farm and the surrounding fields ensure dark skies, perfect for star gazing.
We employ three full-time staff, Derek (the boss) and two rugby loving young farmers, son William and keen fisherman David.
Jane does the paper work, cattle passports and looks after the meg lambs and daughter Nicola is now a qualified primary schoolteacher. The family also tries to make time for a holiday now and again and can dress up when the occasion calls for it as this photo from a recent wedding shows.
We really look forward to welcoming you to Glendown Farm so please call us on +44 (0) 1624 834699 for more information on availability and prices.