The shepherd and the seven-figure road – The Property Chronicle
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The shepherd and the seven-figure road

The Farmer


I am going to have to repair the farm drive

In the depth of winter we begin to organise summer farm maintenance. This year we plan repairs to the farm drive. 

We have a treelined avenue that leads, picturesquely, to the farm. The road is potholed and lacking in security. Concreted surfaces and electric gates appear to be the answer. “Dead money,” I mutter. “Why can’t people just drive slower?” I complained along these lines to a shepherding friend who farms a big estate on the west coast of Scotland. I expected some sympathy, for he is a hard-headed and highly commercial man, definitely not known for frivolous expenditure. Instead I got the advice that the works would be essential. 

It began with a conversation about animal behaviour and the dedication that sometimes goes into its observation. I never miss a chance to lead a fellow farmer into wildlife topics and had recently finished reading a book by the Korean ecologist Sooyong Park. The author buried himself in a snowhole for six months at a time, over many years, in order to study and film a Siberian tiger. 

The Farmer

About Martin Hole

Martin Hole

Martin Hole farms at Montague on the wetlands of the Pevensey Levels in East Sussex. Part family-owned and part rented, the 300ha organic enterprise provides a home to about 150 cattle and nearly 2,000 head of sheep, with a small diversification into residential property and a fledgling green tourism business. A former RSPB UK Lapwing Champion, Martin remains fascinated by the provision of wilderness whilst trying to keep the farm intact for three daughters.

Articles by Martin Hole

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