Pode Hole Farm was built in 1860 as part of the Duke of Bedford Estate. We purchased the farm in 1989 adjoining land we already farmed and we moved in to the farmhouse in November 1990. The farming enterprise is mainly arable with about 1200 acres being managed by Charles and Harry. The main crops are wheat, oilseed rape, sugar beet, combinable peas and maize for forage. The Beef Shorthorn herd fits in well with the arable workload mostly spring calving with the heifers calving in the autumn. Roy McDonald joined the team as stockman in 2006 and Sally and Roy look after the livestock side of the business. The grassland in front of the house is a protected ancient monument consisting of Roman earthworks and in a predominately arable area this prompted the establishment of a flock of Hampshire Down sheep in 1991. The successful Pode Hole flock took Championships at many County Shows including the old Royal Show, The Royal Highland and Great Yorkshire and with the highlight of winning the Interbreed at the Royal Show with a pair of ewe lambs. It was decided to disperse the flock in 2014 to concentrate on the Beef Shorthorns.
In 1997 Harry and our daughter Lucy purchased three Beef Shorthorn females from John Doughty at Tugby and these were the foundation of the Podehole herd. Following the return of land from gravel extraction as low level grassland the company took on responsibility for the cattle and the numbers were expanded with cows from Tofts, Derryage, Wenmar and further cows from Tugby.
In 2010 Pode Hole was honoured to host the World Shorthorn conference tour with delegates from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa all enjoying a great day on the farm. The Beef Shorthorns continue to fly the flag for Pode Hole in the show ring. We have enjoyed breed and interbreed success at the Royal Highland, Great Yorkshire and Beef Shorthorn National Show in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
In autumn 2011 Harry and his partner Laura established Bar Pasture Farm riding stables and livery yard on the next door farm to Pode Hole. Check out what is happening at the stables by following the link to www.barpasturestables.com or on FB at Bar Pasture Stables.