Brentingby Meadows

Quality English meat from Leicestershire's grazing lands

Four generations of our family have farmed at Hall Farm, which has been our home since the 1880's.

Brentingby is a quiet, sleepy hamlet yet it is only two miles from the busy market town of Melton Mowbray. The area is rich in history, with most our grassland unploughed for centuries, overlying ancient ridge and furrow field systems, together with a Saxon water mill site. There has been a manor house here since mediaeval times, but the current farmhouse dates from the seventeenth century. It is surrounded by a mix of traditional and modern farm buildings and is adjacent to a twelfth century church, now converted to a private house. The course of the Melton to Oakham canal, abandoned in the middle of the nineteenth century, with the expansion of the railway network, runs through the farm. Contemporary development in the form of the Melton Mowbray Flood Alleviation Scheme – a flood storage scheme – is the twenty-first century’s contribution to the landscape’s evolution.

Mixed farms such as ours are increasingly unusual as farming has become more specialised, but this diverse habitat creates advantages for wildlife. We leave field margins as rough grassland to encourage insects and small mammal populations; these in turn support predators including barn owls and kestrels. Other areas of land are managed to encourage species such as skylark, yellowhammers, meadow pipits and tree sparrows. In excess of 90 acres of our permanent pasture is managed without fertilisers, to encourage biodiversity in the hay meadows and on the floodplain.

The River Eye, (a Site of Special Scientific Interest) runs through the western end of the farm and supports a large variety of wildlife including a rich flora, dragon and damselflies, wildfowl and other beautiful birds such as reed buntings, snipe and kingfishers.

Without grazing, the historic field systems will be lost, along with the species that depend upon the extensive grazing ecosystem - as has happened on a vast scale across the country, particularly since the 1940’s. We therefore try and work with, not against this heritage to produce milk, meat and grain.