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Our work at Horner Farm

Grazing cows on grass pasture at Horner Farm on the Holnicote Estate
Grazing cows on grass pasture at Horner Farm on the Holnicote Estate | © National Trust Images/Nick Upton

Horner Farm is a tenanted National Trust farm in Porlock Vale and is currently run by Holly and Mark. They use regenerative farming techniques to produce meat sustainably while also increasing biodiversity and encouraging wildlife.

Horner Farm

Horner Farm is the first full farm to be re-let on the Holnicote Estate since the early 1990s and is tenanted by Holly and Mark, along with their two boys, Fergus and Moss. The way they run it demonstrates how farming and nature can work together to deliver sustainable food production whilst also protecting and enhancing the unique habitats found on the land.

They breed sheep, cattle and goats following regenerative farming practices and the aim is to rebuild a healthy ecosystem that will benefit their livestock as well as wildlife and the wider community. Holly and Mark focus on natural animal behaviour and positive soil health for the basis of the farm and this helps build biodiversity across it.

Nature-friendly farming principles

New hedges have been laid that will thicken over the coming years, the wood pasture will become established and there will be more in-field trees planted across the holding. This will create wildlife corridors throughout the farm and allow wildlife to spill out of Horner Wood and down through the Vale.

Sensitive field management alongside tree planting helps improve soil health on the farm and it’s hoped that there will be an increase in soil organic matter throughout the holding. This will make the land more resilient to drought in the summer months and increase its water holding capacity to help prevent floods downstream in the winter months. The newly seeded fields have been sown with mixed legumes which will help repair the soil as well as being attractive to wildlife and providing valuable forage for the farmer.

An enclosed tree on the developing wood pasture at Horner Farm, Holnicote Estate, Somerset
The developing wood pasture at Horner Farm, Holnicote Estate, Somerset | © National Trust Images/Nick Upton

Visit Horner Farm

The farm holds food events and open days throughout the year. For more information about the farm and the events they run, follow the farm’s story here.

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