The Full Story
In the beginning... there were three dairy farmers Will, James and Fi. They had a dream. To make their farm a place where people could come and learn about traditional farming and conservation, to enhance the environment, create biodiversity and make a better future landscape. The farmers wanted to share and build on their understanding of life cycles of plants and animals through the seasons, create new wetlands to help mitigate flood and climate change, provide breeding wader habitats, plant trees and hedges for nesting birds, develop ponds, manage environments for wild pollinators and stop the use of artificial fertilizers. They wanted to bring nature loving people together and share with them their biodiversity creation journey; to forage and use natural waste material to build new habitats for many species of endangered plants, birds, insects and mammals. They wished to provide a place of education and enjoyment, where visitors could take pleasure in the wonderful countryside. Will, James and Fi realised the move from intensive farming was the way forward, they embarked on a new wild farming adventure. Dumble Farm was born.
But why ‘Dumble Farm’?
When the land in Arram was owned by the Percy estate, historical records describe tenants collecting ‘dumbles’ in the Carrs. A fascinating article by local historian Eva Crackles entitled ‘ A Rush Called the Dumble’, deduces that dumble is a local name for Club Rush (Scirpus lacustris), still thriving here at the pond as seen below.
As it is now... Dumble farm have a fold of adorable Highland cattle. Their browsing habits make them perfect as conservation grazers, recycling nutrients and creating a greater diversity of species in the natural environment, just what we need! Highlands are a visually distinctive breed of cattle, their many merits lie not only in their unique appearance and good nature, but also in their hardiness and top quality beef. The Highlands are naturally grown, slow to mature, sustainably grass fed on extensive pasture, some of the males may eventually provide a premium quality, high protein, low fat beef which has a special flavour and texture.
Not only this, but Will, James and Fi found that the fluffy moos also love attention, being groomed and taken on adventure walks. The farmers thought, what better way to provide information, education and engagement with the Dumble Farm project than by being guided by Morag and friends? Highland trekking at Dumble Farm
The Dumble farm conservation scheme covers a wide area, much more than the trekking route, the farmers needed a way to show people everything, let them see the main Highland fold hard at work, preparing the fields for ground nesting birds. The farmers reused material from on the farm to construct a purpose built people carrying trailer. This could be used for educational, school and other groups to show them the conservation scheme in action, plus of course see the main Highland fold. Highland Cow Safaris at Dumble Farm.
So much is the interest in our fluffy grazers, Dumble Farm offer Highland cow sponsorship, providing updates to the sponsor with funds going towards the conservation project.
James, Will and Fi loved their dairy cows so much that they couldn’t bear to part with their favourites, so Keri, Cloud, Broxa, Snowflake and Crocus are still living on the farm, rearing their calves. They love meeting people, being fed and stroked. The warmth of a cow and her gentle nature makes her very relaxing to spend some time with. Cow Cuddling at Dumble Farm
Two adorable goats named Nibbles and Dodge came into our posession when they needed rehoming. They had been working hard as conservation grazers at Tophill Low nature reserve, and their owners, to whom we are very grateful, asked if we could take them. They are now being used at Dumble Farm, to clear areas of ground that the cattle cannot access. Not only this but they love meeting people and going for adventures. In winter 2023 the little baby goats at Tophill Low needed some more land to graze on, luckily Dumble Farm needed some more conservation grazers, more goats arrived at the farm! Goat feeding and cuddling at Dumble Farm.
James and his wife Julie adore Alpacas, so there are now four resident fleecy friends, very inquisitive in nature and gentle to feed and walk with. Alpaca experiences at Dumble Farm.
Dumble Farm welcomes educational access for school and volunteers who wish to help with the conservation project, monitoring the wildlife, planting trees and hedges, building bird hides, brash walls, willow fences and much more. We already have an education room with a toilet. Fiona is CEVAS registered, DBS checked and a STEM ambassador.
We thank all the people, including Tophill Low, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Natural England, Laurel Vines and Kingston Cabins for their support and donations towards the project.