The Nicholson Family

Cannon Hall Farm

Sponsored by: Morrisons

The Nicholson family run Cannon Hall Farm, an award-winning farm-to-fork attraction, which has garnered attention from all over the world.

First open to the public in 1989, the family has continued to diversify the farm over the years, which to date includes a farm shop selling home reared meats, indoor and outdoor play areas, three restaurants and a permanent marquee for events.

The farm remains core to the business, comprising about 77 hectares (190 acres), with 450 ewes, Beef Shorthorn and Highland cattle and 1,200 pigs.

While the business employs 350 full-time and part-time staff (pre-Covid-19 levels), members of the Nicholson family are involved at every level, from 77-year old director Roger Nicholson to three-month-old farm mascot Nellie Hampshire.

The Nicholsons have put a long-term plan in place to protect the future of the family business and hope, by maintaining a proper working farm at its core, to mitigate the worst potential impacts of inheritance tax.

Social media

Covid-19 saw farm shop sales increase by 40 per cent in turnover during 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, as the business expanded its deliveries and offered call and collect solutions for those isolating.

The family also received the Prime Minister’s Commonwealth Points of Light Award for daily lockdown livestreams, where they were commended for lifting the nation’s spirits through their daily morning broadcasts.

Their radical approach to online marketing and social media during the years has been instrumental in raising the farm’s profile, and they have hosted Channel 5’s Springtime on the Farm for the past three years.

As a producer, manufacturer and service industry all in one, the family believe it is the farm’s multiple facets which have captured the public’s imagination and footfall, helping to secure their next expansion.