Bowthorpe Park Farm has been home to the Blanchard family who have farmed the land for 5 Generations.
We started farming Bowthorpe Park Farm at the start of the Second World War. As food was scarce and every acre had to be farmed to produce food to help stop the country going hungry.
Ann and Alec Blanchard then moved on the farm in the early 1950s where they raised three daughters Pam, Diane Helen and son Richard. Wheat and barley were the main crops grown along with root crops such as potatoes and sugarbeet. Cows, sheep and pigs were also kept for breeding or selling as fat.
The cropping changed throughout the late 90s with a move away from root crops to just cereal. A 300 head sheep flock was also built up on the farm with the purchase of more grassland. Lambs were fattened and taken into Stamford and Melton Mowbray markets. The highlight of the year though would always be the Corby Glen sheep fair where the majority of lambs would be sold and replacement ewes brought.
In the early 2000s the decision was made to move out of sheep due to price pressure and suitability of the grassland during the winter months. Cattle then made a return on the farm with store cattle being brought and fattened throughout the winter months before being turned out to graze in the summer.
After a couple of years of this working relatively well Richard and wife Claire decided to build up a suckler herd. After looking at many different breeds Lincoln Red was chosen as the best suited for the farm. Five in calf cows where purchased form a pedigree Lincoln Red breeder in Leicestershire and a year later our first bull Frosty who is now approaching retirement age.
A few different breeds can be seen amongst the reds and have been introduced along the way for diversity of the end market user. However the farm now operates a closed herd system and any animal brought onto the farm must first go through blood testing to ensure the health of the Buttery Park herd.
With the expansion of the cattle more of the heavier clay land has been put back down to grassland, this is used for grazing and making fodder such as hay and haylage for cattle feed or for sale.
The farm is currently run by Richard Blanchard along with his sons George and Nick who work on the farm and also offer contracting services to other farmers and livestock holdings in the area.