Farmer Tim's Smallholding Tips

Tuesday 24th January 2017

Starting a smallholding can seem like a daunting prospect but it’s also incredibly satisfying.

Here are Tim's tips for things to think about when you're starting out:

1.  Do your research and work out how much land you’ll need. Are you planning to start growing your food and keep animals? Have you got suitable land for both and are parts of your land better suited to one or the other?

2.  Make sure you understand the legal requirements involved in keeping animals: registering your land as agricultural and getting your CPH number (County Parish Holding); getting herd and flock numbers and tagging requirements.

3.  Think about why you want animals and look into what different breeds offer. Are you planning to get weaner pigs early in the year to slaughter in the autumn or do you want a small flock of sheep to handle grazing some fields?

4.  Get some hands-on experience of looking after animals: lots of courses around now will give you this, including our smallholding and animal husbandry courses at Humble by Nature. 

5.  Always buy your animals from a reputable breeder or someone you know and make sure the breeds you want will suit your locality. 

6.  Be prepared to be outside all year round in all weathers: invest in some good waterproofs, sturdy boots and a hat!

If you're ready to take the plunge, take a look at our animal husbandry courses, including Sheep for BeginnersPigs for BeginnersSustainable Bee-Keeping and, of course, Smallholding.