A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
The family came to Brightleigh Farm, Outwood in 1959 when Jim Brunton started a dairy herd with 8 Ayrshire cows brought down from Ayrshire, Scotland. He built the herd up to 100 cows, changing breed to Friesians in the early 70’s. This continued until the poor milk price forced us to sell the dairy herd and cease milk production in 1999.
The beef suckler herd was then established with Hereford cross Friesian heifers born from dairy cows. Today the herd is made up of our 100% grass-fed Hereford and Angus cattle.
how we farm
We believe in farming regeneratively - by working in harmony with nature to look after the soil and the pastures, which in turn is reflected in the welfare of our animals and the taste of our produce. Although not certified organic, the farm is run on organic principles and no artificial fertilisers or sprays are used.
Our cattle spend most of the year grazing in the fields, only spending the worst winter months inside where they are fed solely on home grown hay and silage. They are given the freedom to express their normal behaviours and often live in family groups. Their natural diet means they are less likely to suffer from disease and require little veterinary attention or antibiotics.
We use a system called 'MOB grazing' whereby the livestock are moved each day to graze fresh grass. By doing so, they eat the most nutritious top third of the forage plants and trample the stemmy and less nutritious stalks into the ground to make new soil. This trampled forage is continually returned to the surface, helping to feed the soil, along with the manure.
Grazing animals also return nutrients and organic matter back to the ground as they deposit their dung, ensuring the soil remains healthy and fertile, this is the basis of regenerative farming.
Our pastures contain a variety of plant species, including herbs, wildflowers and clovers which provide a healthy diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals drawn up from the soil below. They also support a diverse range of wildlife which is necessary for delicate eco systems to thrive.
The carbon footprint of grass farms such as ours is significantly lower than that of farms where cereal crops are grown to feed animals. Grassland helps capture and store carbon so less is released into the air to harm the atmosphere.