We - that's Jane Emerson and Peter Stoeken - started our working lives in forestry and landscaping but really wanted to manage our own land.
In 1987 we bought our first deer and took our initial steps along what has been a steep learning curve - if it could happen it has. In 1990, we extended our 7 acre small-holding by 90 acres. Since then we have survived all sorts of challenges, increased our land holding to 210 acres and developed our farm and business into something we are really proud of today.
In 2001, post foot & mouth disease - when we lost all our stock, we had the opportunity to change direction. We knew if we wanted to carry on farming we needed to make the business more sustainable. Hence our decision to add value by marketing meat not finished stock, by the addition of cattle and our organic conversion. From a few small sales late in 2004 we now sell everything we produce and have our our own licensed slaughterhouse and cutting plant.
We love what we do - as anyone who has been shown around the farm will know from our enthusiasm! But can no longer do everything ourselves and are fortunate to have a great team working with us; we couldn't manage without their support and hard work.
Red deer and Dexter cattle are great to work with, the Cumbrian landscape we work in is beautiful and we enjoy producing high quality meat in a way that fits with our personal beliefs.
Farming in upland areas such as ours is tough but we hope that we have found ways of turning the disadvantages into opportunities - that may sound clichéd but we wouldn’t want to do anything other than what we do!