Shipley Parish Magazine – Knepp News
Jason Emrich, Land Agent / Estate Manager
The Autumn sees us close our campsite and safaris for another year, but what an extraordinary season. In many ways we have been incredibly fortunate in our corner of the world as we were able to open from July and had no outbreaks of Corona virus disrupting our scramble to pull together what we could in terms of business. A huge thank you to our team who worked incredibly hard in challenging circumstances to complete the tourism season.
In a normal year we would have about 8000 visitors to Newbarn Farm. This year we had an additional 30,000 or so on the footpaths as many of us know. And they still come as Lockdown #2 closes everything except the countryside. Sadly our overflow car park has had to close due to the ground conditions, and there is nothing we can do to accommodate the demand until we build our new facilities at Swallows Farm in 2021. Lets hope Corona Virus is behind us by then at least.
Onto other news…
It would be remiss of me not to mention the departure from Shipley of Helen, Jake & Louise Butler. Helen has been a part of the Knepp Estate for over 30 years originally milking sheep at Newbarn, and latterly running the walled garden where Jake also started out. We will all miss their lovely sheep in the village and wish them well in Wales.
Knepp is at the heart of trying to influence the Government’s plans to plant millions of trees to help combat climate change, and we hosted a conference with the Woodland trust in October to discuss the importance of natural regeneration rather than nursery grown stock. Knepp’s rewilding project has shown what can happen if you give space for nature with a vast amount of carbon captured alongside the biodiversity benefits of a wilder type of woodland. We have our own little micro- experiment that is about to take place on a field near Dial Post where we will use pigs to break up a pasture field, and will monitor the ensuing tree establishment.
Meanwhile we have started planning the detail for our new farming project in Shipley, working out where the wildlife corridors should be and which areas will be used for cattle grazing. Fencing is about to start to bring land back into production.
In terms of existing livestock production, amazingly CV19’s tentacles have reached deep into all aspects of our lives; with restaurants shut there is no demand for venison and the market has literally disappeared. Also a Corona outbreak at the local abattoir resulted in cancelled arrangements, so we are all praying that the grass carries on growing to help us through having to hold onto stock for longer than usual. We have at least been able to sell our own produce through our new business https://www.kneppwildrangemeat.co.uk/ and orders may be collected from our campsite shop at the weekends.
We are recruiting…
Sadly we are bidding farewell to Lawrence one of the farm team at Christmas who is off to find new challenges. If anyone knows of anyone who would like to join the workforce on the farm, do please contact Pat Toe (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will send you a job spec with details.
We are possibly also on the lookout for a new fulltime couple for the campsite & shop, or maybe just a site manager, following a juggle around, so again if anyone knows of anyone please contact email@example.com
We are also on the lookout for volunteers to help with all sorts of things, and we would especially like local people to get involved with some of the amazing projects that we have going on. Please do enquire to Rachel firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Best wishes for Christmas and a happy new year!