The Beaumont Family

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Sam and Claire Beaumont farm 385 acres in the Lake District operating a hybrid farm between rewilding and regenerative grazing with 65 shorthorn cattle, 14 Kune Pigs and four fell ponies. They are passionate about restoring their ancient wood pasture, species rich grassland and heather moorland habitats, while producing nutrient dense food. They produce ‘Pasture for Life’ certified Beef which they sell direct to consumers nationwide.

The farm is managed day to day by Sam and Claire, who have two young children, with Claire’s parents also involved as partners in the family farm business.

Sam and Claire first started out trying to farm in a way that was similar to the way Claire’s granddad had in the 1970s – mainly Swaledale sheep breeding mule lambs for auction. They said they quickly saw it was going to fail as they were reliant on inputs like fertilizer and feed that were getting too expensive and said it was damaging their ecosystem. After reviewing their family business in detail they decided to disperse the sheep and increase the cattle numbers. Inspired by regenerative graziers in the U.S and after visiting lots of innovative farmers here in the UK, they adopted a new rewilding and regenerative grazing approach.

Both Sam and Claire admit convincing Claire’s parents to convert to regenerative farming was difficult at the beginning, but now they fully embrace it. Since moving to zero grain feeding and outwintering their cattle they said they have found their animals are healthier and require less intervention and less routine treatments. Their grazing allows them to use an area of deferred grazing in the wood pasture for the winter, which allows them to feed less hay, which in turn has created a more resilient family business. They said they have seen an increase in species diversity, healthier soils, healthier animals and increased profitability.

While they recognise increased input costs will probably continue to threaten their family farm business, they are confident a low input system will help them with this, and hope one day when their children are older they will be interested in getting involved in the farm.