Nethercott Farm is the largest of our farms and situated in Yarnscombe, down a mile long lane off the A3232 Torrington to Barnstaple road. It was bought by the Auvray family in 2018 from the Courtenay brothers whose family had farmed there since the early twentieth century.
The farm has amazing views across the North Devon countryside to Exmoor. It comprises arable, grassland and woods as well as ponds and marshy areas and is rich in wildlife. It was put into organic conversion with the Soil Association as soon as we had purchased it and will be fully organic by the end of 2020.
Nethercott Farm is full of history with field names like Danes’ Field, Bewtown, Ham Park and Lashingcott Meadow. It has some wonderful old linhays and barns, all constructed from local stone and roofed with slate. One of its features, which we plan to restore, is the old “round house” which was used in olden days to drive the threshing machinery in the barn next door. The “round house” or, in this case more properly the “octagonal house”, which was used before the advent of steam engines, had a wheel in the centre around which the horse or bullock walked to drive the threshing machinery, through a complex system of gears, belts and pulleys.
The farm is fertile and productive, benefitting from good rainfall. The fields are large by Devon standards with two fields of over 17 acres each. We use the farm nowadays for our organic sheep and lambs and our organic Red Ruby Devon cattle.