Piper Hole is a traditional family run hill farm set on the borders of the Westmorland Dales and the Yorkshire Dales National parks at Ravenstonedale. The farm is “Holistically” managed and has been for several generations, there are no artificial inputs.
The farm consists of SSSi meadow land that is covered by an agri-environment scheme to help enhance and protect the plant diversity. The meadows are also recognised as Cumbria's first "Coronation Meadows". This was an appointment by Prince Charles where bye 60 counties throughout the UK would each have a meadow that would donate seed to a recipient site within the county to produce another hay meadow in a bid to enhance and increase the numbers of traditional hay meadows throughout the UK. The pastures that the animals graze on are equally as rich and diverse as the meadows. The position is such that the animals graze the herbal plants and benefit from the nutrient source from the plant. In winter the housed animals are fed the crop that has been taken from the herbal meadows.
A herd of goats are kept at Piper Hole. A dairy herd is milked twice a day through a milking parlour.
The milk after pasteurising is used for making soap, yoghurt, kefir and fudge with the remainder of the milk being put into cartons and sold off the farm.
Piper Hole is open to the public where the opportunity is there to come and buy our goat products and view the animals. The herbal pastures and meadows are an area of outstanding beauty throughout the year and we offer areas for people to come and sit, have a picnic and enjoy the surroundings and learn about holistic land management.
We also hold workshops and events focussed around sustainable farming.
The livestock at Piper Hole complement the traditional farming methods we undertake. A small herd of Shetland Cattle are kept for conservation purposes and for the much sought after meat qualities. Rough Fell sheep are kept for their ability to thrive on the upland areas and produce a marketable lamb without artificial intervention.
The sheep spend a large amount of time on the adjoining Ravenstonedale Common. A pure bred flock of Teeswater sheep are kept to produce rams to cross with the Rough Fell ewe to produce a Masham ewe which in turn produces lambs for meat production.
The soap is handmade here on the farm using natural oils and goats milk from our own dairy herd. Our soap is successfully sold here on the farm in our small ‘Little Soap Shed’ and our ‘famous’ Honesty box at the end of our lane.