Neil Dallyn

Waltham Park Farm, R. and A. Dallyn and Sons, West Sussex

Neil Dallyn’s comprehensive farm and countryside contracting business has grown organically over 20 years or more offering all grassland related work, cultivation, combining, fertiliser and chemical applications, fencing, digger work and general estate maintenance, plus the supply of labour.

It was the desire to farm more efficiently himself, and with better machinery, that he exploited the area’s need for good operators and equipment.

Customers range from large estates to smallholders, but all are made to feel equally important and if someone requests work he has not done before, he is keen to find an efficient way of doing it.

Expansion of the business has been focussed on some of the smaller contracts which at the time, larger operators did not want to take on and while this increases the administrative burden, Neil says it pays.

“We could double in size, such is the demand, but I want to keep true to my core loyal customers,” he says, adding that key measures of the success of his business have been hard work, listening to people, having good team members, and organising ‘days out’ to strengthen team bonds and goals.


“Having happy customers, delivering on what we have promised and having a happy team with good communication both within the business and with customers, are vital.”

From one tractor, there are now seven, from one truck to four, no digger to three, and from three self-employed business partners, to an additional five full time employees, four part-time and extra tractors and drivers as required.

When contemplating new equipment, he says research and careful costing are paramount and says care is taken not to ‘overstretch’ the business’s financial capability.

A keen ploughman, he initiated a bursary within the local ploughing association of which he is chairman, to help develop potential quality employees for the industry.

It provides the tractor, plough and land on which youngsters from a non-farming background can practice.

The judges said about Neil: The judges considered this to be a really versatile local specialist with a business which they felt was very much under control.  The owners have a very clear understanding of the finances involved in the operations they are offering and the judges felt this was a business which would continue to grow, but in a very sustainable way.

On winning the award, Neil said: “Winning the award means a lot. But really is a recognition of the team we have behind us and all the farms that continue to support us, both which we are very thankful. Contractors have an important role and we need to deliver. There has been a fantastic atmosphere tonight and a great opportunity to enjoy and celebrate with our team.”