The Estate is responsible for the long-term stewardship of almost 100,000 acres of agricultural land, the majority of which is farmland. Around 20,000 acres are managed by the Estate’s in-house team. This acreage is split between an arable enterprise of 5,000 acres, with the remainder primarily hill land. The rest of the Estate’s agricultural land is under the custodianship of its 100-plus tenant farmers, many of whom have lived and farmed the same holdings for generations.

Case Study

Percy Farms

The headquarters of Percy Farms, the in-hand arable enterprise at Northumberland Estates, is at Ratcheugh Farm near Alnwick. Operating with a seven mile radius, farm manager, Stephen Siddorn looks after 3,660 arable acres (1,481 ha) with cropping including winter wheat and barley, oilseed  rape and spring beans. Conservation and farming work hand in hand throughout, with an award  winning grey partridge conservation project covering around 80 percent of the arable acreage. In addition much the farmland has been entered into conservation schemes such as Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) and Higher Level (HLS) Stewardship agreements. This, however, does not preclude  the use of new technology within the farming enterprise, which utilises GPS mapping systems to  ensure accuracy when applying sprays and fertilizer, and yield and soil mapping to assist in the  accurate application of lime, phosphate and other additives.

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