After moving to the farm in 1970 we at Mandinam were caught up in the battle of providing the market with as much intensively reared stock as it would take, before taking a reality check in the early 90’s as to how unsuitable it was for the farm; the family & our animals. We changed our method of farming. For a few years we rented our grazing to local farmers and turned the remaining 200 acres of woodland and rough grazing into conservation ground. Later in the 1990’s we decided to stop farming.
We planted 50,000 trees and repaired hedges by double fencing and replanting. Mandinam has its own Oak wood which is extremely rare and holds a gold prize for best wood at the Royal Welsh Show. There are three SSSI’s now and a certified Sessile Oak wood which produces acorns for forest nurseries.
At Mandinam we grow and cut our own Firewood which is used for heating in the main house and can be supplied for the Hot Tubs.
The six ponds that we created are now full of dragon flies, plants, fish and otters. Red squirrels have been seen. Eleven of the recorded bats in U.K. have been sound located. Red Kites, Goshawks, Buzzards, Peregrines, Hobbies, Sparrow hawks and a rich list of flora and fauna are all present at Mandinam.
In the process of creating a wildlife habitat we introduced some Hereford and Shorthorn cattle to tidy up woodland areas, Shetland sheep which do a wonderful job of tidying up the areas where “softer” sheep fear to tread!
The Farm’s Produce
Our farming is now carried out in a small and sustainable way. We now sell beef from our farm, from traditional breeds which are better suited to the slow manner in which our animals are grown. Producing the best we possibly can, our stock is treated with the utmost care, extensively grazed in fresh pastures during the summer, and bought in for the winter onto large deep straw beds in barns where they are fed home grown fodder. The beef calves are fed home grown peas and barley to replace expensive proteins from overseas. We grow turnips and kale for the sheep to eat during the winter.
At Mandinam we are proud of our grass-fed traditional breed produce. Our small herd of pedigree Shorthorn cattle, graze the rough areas of our farm during the summer, and are fed home-grown fodder during the winter months.