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Key Roundoak Farm Details
Google Rating: south of the county town of Maidstone. There are several nearby attractions
Number of Google Reviews: including Leeds Castle
Roundoak Farm Summary
Roundoak Farm is a rare-breed farm located in the heart of the Kentish countryside, south of the county town of Maidstone. The farm is situated on the southerly slopes of the Greensand Ridge, offering a picturesque view of the beautiful weald of Kent. Roundoak Farm is a working farm that specializes in rare-breed animals, including Highland, White Park, and Vaynol cattle, as well as Hebridean, North Ronaldsay, and Boreray sheep, and some rare breed pigs.
Founded in the early 1990s, Roundoak Farm has become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The farm offers visitors the opportunity to purchase fresh farm produce, including meat, vegetables, and dairy products. Visitors can also participate in various activities, such as guided tours of the farm, animal feeding, and wool spinning. The farm also hosts events throughout the year, such as lambing weekends and Christmas markets.
- Roundoak Farm is a rare-breed farm located in the heart of the Kentish countryside, south of the county town of Maidstone.
- The farm specializes in rare-breed animals, including Highland, White Park, and Vaynol cattle, as well as Hebridean, North Ronaldsay, and Boreray sheep, and some rare breed pigs.
- Visitors can purchase fresh farm produce, participate in various activities, and attend events throughout the year.
History of Roundoak Farm
Roundoak Farm is a working farm located in the heart of the Kentish countryside, south of the county town of Maidstone. The farm has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. It was originally a dairy farm, but over the years, it has evolved to become a rare breed farm that focuses on preserving and promoting endangered breeds of livestock.
In the 1800s, the farm was owned by the Henniker family, who were known for their love of agriculture. They were responsible for introducing the White Park cattle breed to the farm. The breed was originally found in the Chillingham Park in Northumberland, and it is believed to be one of the oldest breeds of cattle in the world. Today, Roundoak Farm has a thriving herd of White Park cattle, which are a testament to the farm’s commitment to preserving rare breeds.
In the early 1900s, the farm was purchased by the Beckwith family, who were known for their innovative approach to farming. They introduced new farming techniques and equipment to the farm, which helped to increase productivity and efficiency. The Beckwith family also established the Round Oak Stove Company, which became one of the largest stove manufacturers in the world.
In the 1960s, the farm was purchased by the Smith family, who continued the tradition of farming rare breeds. They introduced the Vaynol cattle breed to the farm, which is closely linked to the White Park breed. The Vaynol breed was originally found on the Vaynol estate in North Wales, and it is also an endangered breed.
Today, Roundoak Farm is owned by Ruth and Norman Berry, who are passionate about preserving rare breeds of livestock. They have continued the tradition of farming White Park and Vaynol cattle, as well as Hebridean sheep and Highland cows. They also run a successful farm shop, where visitors can purchase a range of rare breed meats and other farm produce.
Location and Surroundings
Roundoak Farm is situated in the beautiful Kentish countryside, in the village of Sutton Valence. The farm is located approximately 6 miles southeast of Maidstone, and is easily accessible by car. The farm’s address is Heniker Lane, Sutton Valence, Maidstone, Kent, ME17 3ED.
The surrounding area is known for its picturesque landscapes, rolling hills, and quaint villages. The farm is located in an area of outstanding natural beauty, and visitors can enjoy stunning views of the countryside from various vantage points around the farm. The farm is also located near several historic sites, including Leeds Castle and the Kent and East Sussex Railway.
Visitors can explore the local area by foot or by bike, with several scenic walking and cycling routes in the vicinity. The farm is also located near several local attractions, including the Biddenden Vineyards, where visitors can sample locally produced wine, and the Hop Farm Family Park, which features a range of family-friendly activities.
The farm itself is set in a peaceful and tranquil location, surrounded by fields and woodland. Visitors can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, with several bird species and other wildlife commonly seen around the farm. The farm is also home to a variety of rare breed animals, including Highland, White Park, and Vaynol cattle, as well as Hebridean, North Ronaldsay, and Boreray sheep, and some rare breed pigs.
Roundoak Farm is committed to implementing good agricultural practices (GAP) in order to reduce the likelihood of contaminating produce and promote best practices in livestock farming. The farm conservation grazes approximately 1200 acres throughout central Kent, which helps to maintain a diverse range of flora and fauna.
In terms of livestock farming, Roundoak Farm follows a set of guidelines that minimize the risk of contamination of foods by bacteria and other microbial pathogens, pests, and chemicals during primary production activities. The farm uses natural methods to control pests and diseases, and the animals are kept in conditions that prioritize their welfare and health.
To ensure that the farm’s practices are in line with the latest regulations and standards, Roundoak Farm regularly undergoes audits and inspections from third-party certification bodies. The farm also implements measures to address water quality, manure and compost use, worker health and hygiene, and contamination from wildlife, domestic animals, and livestock.
Overall, Roundoak Farm’s commitment to good agricultural practices ensures that consumers can have confidence in the safety and quality of the farm’s produce.
Livestock at Roundoak Farm
Roundoak Farm is a unique farm located in Sutton Valence, Kent, that specialises in rare breed animals. The farm is home to a variety of livestock including cattle and sheep. Here is a closer look at the livestock at Roundoak Farm.
Roundoak Farm breeds Highland, White Park, and Vaynol cattle. These breeds are known for their hardiness and ability to thrive in harsh environments. The farm’s cattle are grass-fed and raised in a natural and humane environment.
Highland cattle are a Scottish breed that is well-suited to the rugged terrain of the Scottish Highlands. They are known for their long, shaggy hair and their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. White Park cattle are an ancient breed that is native to the British Isles. They are a hardy breed that is well-adapted to living in harsh environments. Vaynol cattle are a rare breed that is native to Wales. They are known for their distinctive appearance and their gentle temperament.
Roundoak Farm breeds Hebridean, North Ronaldsay, and Boreray sheep. These breeds are known for their hardiness and their ability to thrive in harsh environments. The farm’s sheep are grass-fed and raised in a natural and humane environment.
Hebridean sheep are a Scottish breed that is well-suited to the rugged terrain of the Scottish Highlands. They are known for their distinctive appearance and their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. North Ronaldsay sheep are a rare breed that is native to the Orkney Islands. They are known for their ability to survive on a diet of seaweed. Boreray sheep are a rare breed that is native to the St. Kilda archipelago. They are known for their hardiness and their ability to thrive in harsh environments.
In conclusion, Roundoak Farm is home to a variety of rare breed animals that are well-suited to living in harsh environments. The farm’s livestock are grass-fed and raised in a natural and humane environment.
Tourism and Activities
Roundoak Farm is a popular destination for tourists, offering a variety of activities that cater to different interests. Visitors can take part in farm tours, educational programmes, and special events.
Farm tours are a great way to experience life on a working farm. Visitors can learn about the daily routines of the farmers and see the animals up close. The tour guides are knowledgeable and passionate about farming, and they are happy to answer any questions visitors may have.
During the tour, visitors can also learn about the different crops grown on the farm and the methods used to cultivate them. The Crop Adventure tour is particularly popular, as it provides an in-depth look at modern crop farming practices, the importance of soil, and the future of farming.
Roundoak Farm offers educational programmes for children and adults. These programmes are designed to teach visitors about the importance of agriculture, sustainability, and the environment. The programmes are interactive and hands-on, allowing visitors to learn by doing.
The educational programmes cover a range of topics, including animal care, horticulture, and conservation. Visitors can also learn about the history of farming in the local area and the role of agriculture in the wider community.
Roundoak Farm hosts special events throughout the year, including seasonal festivals, farm-to-table dinners, and live music performances. These events are a great way to experience the farm in a fun and festive atmosphere.
Visitors can also book private events at the farm, such as weddings, corporate retreats, and team-building activities. The farm provides a beautiful and unique setting for any special occasion.
Overall, Roundoak Farm offers a range of activities that cater to different interests and ages. Whether visitors are looking for a fun family outing or a unique educational experience, the farm has something to offer.
Roundoak Farm is committed to conservation efforts and has implemented several initiatives to preserve the environment and protect rare breeds. The farm practices conservation grazing, a technique that involves using livestock to manage grasslands and other habitats. Rare breed cattle and sheep are well-known for their use in conservation grazing and have been used for this purpose in various parts of the South East .
Roundoak Farm conservation grazes approximately 1200 acres throughout central Kent, including 180 acres of its own land . The farm uses a rotational grazing system, which involves moving livestock to different fields to allow the vegetation to recover. This system helps to maintain a diverse range of habitats, which are essential for the survival of many plant and animal species.
In addition to conservation grazing, Roundoak Farm has also established natural oak woodland at Sutton Valence and Kings Oak Farm in Ulcombe . The farm has planted over 2000 trees and shrubs, creating a valuable habitat for wildlife. The woodland is managed using traditional techniques, such as coppicing and pollarding, which help to maintain a healthy and diverse ecosystem.
Roundoak Farm is also involved in a number of breeding programs aimed at preserving rare breeds. The farm breeds Highland, White Park, and Vaynol cattle, as well as Hebridean, North Ronaldsay, and Boreray sheep . These breeds are all classified as endangered or vulnerable by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, and Roundoak Farm plays an important role in their conservation.
Overall, Roundoak Farm is a shining example of how agriculture and conservation can work together to protect the environment and preserve rare breeds. Through its innovative conservation initiatives and breeding programs, the farm is helping to ensure that future generations can enjoy the benefits of a diverse and thriving ecosystem.
Future Plans for Roundoak Farm
Roundoak Farm has a clear vision for the future, with plans to expand their operations and continue to offer unique and rare breeds of animals to the public.
One of the main goals for Roundoak Farm is to increase their production of organic fruits and vegetables. They plan to expand their current orchard by planting more fruit trees and introducing new crops to their fields. The farm also intends to build a new greenhouse to grow more produce throughout the year.
In addition to expanding their produce operations, Roundoak Farm plans to increase their herd of rare breed animals. They are currently working to acquire new breeds of sheep, goats, and pigs to add to their collection. They also plan to build new animal enclosures to provide more space for their animals to roam.
Another area of focus for Roundoak Farm is education. They plan to offer more workshops and events to teach the public about sustainable farming practices and the importance of preserving rare breeds. The farm also intends to host more tours and school visits to educate children about where their food comes from.
Overall, Roundoak Farm is committed to sustainable and ethical farming practices, and their future plans reflect this commitment. By expanding their production of organic fruits and vegetables, increasing their herd of rare breed animals, and offering more educational opportunities, the farm is poised for continued success in the years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a campsite at Sutton Valence near Roundoak Farm?
Yes, there is a campsite available at Roundoak Farm. It is located on the southerly slopes of the Greensand Ridge overlooking the Weald of Kent. The campsite is open throughout the year and offers a warm welcome to visitors. For more information and to book a pitch, visit their Pitchup.com page.
What are the nearby attractions to Roundoak Farm?
Roundoak Farm is set in the heart of the Kentish countryside, south of the county town of Maidstone. There are several nearby attractions, including Leeds Castle, Bedgebury Pinetum, and the Kent & East Sussex Railway. For more information on attractions in the area, visit the Visit Kent website.
Are there any walking trails near Roundoak Farm?
Yes, there are several walking trails near Roundoak Farm. The Greensand Way, a long-distance footpath, passes through the farm. Additionally, there are several other local walking trails, including the Sutton Valence Walk and the Headcorn Circular Walk. For more information on local walking trails, visit the Explore Kent website.
What is the history of Roundoak Farm?
Roundoak Farm is a unique farm specialising in rare breed animals, set in the beautiful Kentish countryside. It is home to Highland, White Park and Vaynol cattle as well as Hebridean, North Ronaldsay and Boreray sheep and some rare breed pigs. The farm has been owned and run by the Roundoak family for over 50 years.
Are there any restaurants near Roundoak Farm?
Yes, there are several restaurants near Roundoak Farm. The Milk House, The Potting Shed, and The Goudhurst Inn are all within a short drive of the farm. For more information on local restaurants, visit the TripAdvisor website.
What activities are available for children near Roundoak Farm?
There are several activities available for children near Roundoak Farm. The farm offers educational tours and workshops, where children can learn about the rare breed animals and the importance of sustainable farming. Additionally, there are several nearby attractions that are popular with children, including the Rare Breeds Centre and the Hop Farm Family Park.