Introduction

The Laycroft Longhorn Farm Shop in Barnston was officially opened by local MP Esther McVey in 2013. Located on Barnston Road, the shop has easy access and plenty of customer parking. In modern commercial terms Manor Farm is classed as small, covering an area of 128 acres; like all farms in the area it has had to adapt to meet the severe financial pressures on agriculture over the past 15 years.

A New Venture

Current tenants Gary and Nicky Prance have family links with the farm going back some 200 years, with Gary’s parents, Colin and Daphne, still having input into the daily running of the farm. In 2000, the heart-wrenching decision to sell a much loved pedigree dairy herd was made and to replace it with a few commercial beef cattle; later that same year they purchased two Longhorn cows. Although just classed as ‘rare’, this is actually England’s oldest surviving breed of cattle. At the time our close farming neighbours thought that we had lost the plot, bringing these strange animals into what was a dairy herd village grazing only typical black and white cows.

In 13 years, the Laycroft Longhorn herd has grown from those two foundation cows to numbers in excess of 100 animals and we have learned to adapt our management skills to accommodate this unique breed.

 

 

 

Having previously supplied local butchers, the farm shop was created to make Longhorn meat available for sale to the local area when it is available.