‘Gregor is the latest generation of the Pierrepont family to live at Thoresby and takes special responsibility for the Livestock operation alongside his partner Katherine, a practising farm vet.’
‘Will is the second generation of his family to work on the estate, he studied an agricultural Degree at Harper Adams leading him to work on farms all around the UK before returning to the estate in 2017.’
Assistant Farm manager
‘Jamie has lived and worked on the estate for thirteen years. After studying Agriculture at Riseholme College he has built a passion for the countryside and soil health. Jamie is responsible for the decisions of the day to day running of the farming operations.’
‘Paul has worked on farms in Nottinghamshire all of his working career building a wealth of practical experience. Paul joined the team in 2006 and manages our potato and irrigation operations.’
‘David has worked with sheep and cattle all his life, growing up on a stock farm in the Pennines and working from Wiltshire to Dumfriesshire. Since coming to Thoresby he has focused on improving the genetics of the commercial ewe flock and trying to maximise the potential of our native breeds.’
Our Farm is host to many different species of animals, we have herds of Red, Roe and Fallow Deer along with Muntjac. Also found are breeding birds such as Red Kite, Buzzard and Woodlark.
On our arable land we aim to protect and enhance our soils by not leaving fields bare after harvest by using Cover Crops. These soak up any excess nutrients in the soil and act as a guard to reduce water and wind erosion. We also apply a range of organic manures and tailor our cultivations for every situation in an effort not to over-work our soil.
The heritage grazing operation manages our precious ancient woodland and heath by building unique habitats and ecosystems.
Farming in Sherwood began with the earliest agricultural settlements in the Neolithic period of the Stone Age. But as light sand land it was always less favoured and thus available for the Norman Kings to establish a Royal Forest of Sherwood, which was a private royal hunting preserve.
The Pierrepont family had settled in the 13th century at Holme on the south bank of the Trent opposite Nottingham. They built their fortune on good land management and expanded quietly through the Middle Ages, before thriving under the Tudors. The Pierreponts acquired land at the dissolution of the monasteries and acquired Thoresby in 1601 as the Royal Forest was broken up and sold off. The Pierrepont’s emparked 800hectares for the deer and would have had a farm to provide food for the big house from the 1630’s when William Pierrepont first took up residence at Thoresby.
... A moderate in the Civil War he remained on good terms with both Oliver Cromwell and his ardently Royalist brother, Henry.
The successive tenants of the Home Farm provided food for the great house and its staff which, at its height, would have meant feeding 100 people. After the Agricultural Depression of the late Victorian Era, caused by the arrival of cheap North American wheat in to the UK market there was a gradual diminution of the style and spending and distant lands were steadily sold.
By 1947, when the house and its park, which had been torn to shreds by the tank training of Guards Armoured, came back in hand, there was a need for revolutionary change to the landscape. With the War Agricultural Acts, passed when food security was seen as a public good, the training grounds were ploughed up and Thoresby Home Farm came into existence, spreading far beyond the narrow boundaries of the old Home Farm.
Under a succession of talented managers from 1955, John Roberson, John Orr and until his untimely death in 2017, John Baker, the business expanded onto land outside the core park as smaller estate tenants retired, as well as buying nearby land to farm in hand and taking contract farming and stubble to stubble agreements.
THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE IT HAPPEN
Meet our team. These fantastic and hardworking individuals collectively make “team Thoresby Farming”. Without their help we would not be able to put food on the tables of thousands of people each year.