Farm History

My great grandfather, John Cony moved to Lavendon Mill in 1911 and bought the Mill and surrounding land after the Great War, the mill fell into disuse between the wars. My grandfather Tony Cony returned to the farm in 1938 after attending Moulton College of agriculture, at this time the farm was running a herd of Ayrshire cows and a herd of large white Pigs.

In 1946 the tenancy of Manor Farm was taken, and we still continue farming these two farms today 60 acres at Lavendon which is owned and 500 acres tenanted at Harrold. Most other things have changed, the Suffolks arrived in 1958 and are now the only livestock enterprise on the farm the cows going in 1971 and the pigs in 1995.

We are now mainly an arable enterprise cropping around 450 acres at Harrold, growing a rotation of winter wheat, winter oats and winter beans. Most of our wheat goes to the Weetabix factory at Burton Latimer.

We have also entered into a Higher Level Stewardship agreement, due to the fact that we have grassed down land both to protect a Scheduled Ancient Monument and also to provide some grass against the River Ouse to help prevent diffuse pollution issues. As well as this we are doing restoration in some old woodland and planting wild life strips around the farm.

The other livestock we have on the farm is the Threeshires herd of Exmoor Ponies.

The work force has also reduced as the farm is now run solely by family members with my father Alan Barker and myself doing the bulk of the work, as out last two full time employees both left in 1990. As well as working on the farm I do some consultancy work for a local land agents (Samuel Rose Ltd) on environmental stewardship.