Halstead Hill Farm

We are delighted to be taking part in Agroforestry Open Weekend 2024
Fruit and nut from our ‘forest garden’ trial plot
Our farm

Our 59 hectare family farm has:

+ trialed suitability of different fruit and nuts for our location

+ 3 hectare fruit, nut and willow agroforestry (Woodland Trust PUR funded) planted in flower rich strips (WWF funded)

+ 3 hectare wood with diverse native trees planted 2011 (England Woodland Grant Scheme)

+ 1km newly planted hedgerows for wildlife and pollinator corridors – from wood to agroforestry, creating double hedgerows and for carbon sequestration and stock proofing

+ species rich herbal leys to improve soil health and livestock diets

+ deep rooted grasses for carbon storage, improved water quality and reduced flooding

+ wildlife scrapes and ponds

+ seed crops for birds and flower rich areas for pollinators

+ rare breed Wiltshire Horn Sheep

+ Photovoltaic electricity generation and 100% renewable electricity use

+ Sustainable Farm Incentive pilot and Countryside Stewardship Schemes

+ green and fossil fuel free bank account

Before he stopped flying and started travelling by train Chris worked on agroforestry projects in West Africa and Southern Europe, he’s an Honorary Professor at Nottingham University and Head of Research at the Allerton Project. His latest book is Farming with the Environment

Miriam enjoys sharing her love of nature with others and being part of positive environmental and community groups. She has a teaching and research background in geography and environmental and agricultural economics, broadened by previous experiences in Canada and Thailand

Mary is studying Agriculture having previously studied Countryside Management. She’s learning forestry skills including hedge laying, Grey Squirrel management and really enjoys working and being on the land

James has helped plant and care for trees and hedgerows and is going to study Mechanical Engineering. He is our fixer

Our agroforestry

Over the last three winters we’ve planted a 3 hectare bank of marginal clay soil exhausted by continuous arable cropping with a mixture of fruit and nut trees and willow windbreaks. The trees are planted in flower rich strips with a herbal ley for silage/hay in between the tree rows. The extreme summer heat in 2022 meant that the trees required regularly hand watering to ensure their survival. We’re learning as we go and continuing to think about guards, mulch and potential future products and collaborations.

Fruit trees planted in a flower rich strip with a herbal ley crop between the agroforestry rows – summer 2023:

After the herbal ley has been cut:

A pruning lessons from a visiting German expert during the 2022 drought

how to find us

Our farm is situated in the hamlet of Halstead, East Leicestershire. We will provide details of where to meet after you have emailed to register

agroforestry open weekend 2023

Over the Agroforestry Open Weekend we will be open on Friday for a 2 hour tour starting at 11am. You could also visit the nearby Allerton Project for their Friday afternoon tour

please don’t just turn up

To book one of our limited Agroforestry Open Weekend places email your name, number of people and where you’re coming from to halsteadhillfarm@gmail.com

As we have livestock strictly NO DOGS please


As we love local – there will be a compost loo from the nearby The Compost Toilet Company (funded by UKSPF Harborough Business Grants Go Green) with local 100% recycled paper with plastic free packaging from Rural Trading | Home Of BoxRoll | In Market Harborough


Limited parking

We’d like to link up people travelling from nearby/en route locations to enable lift sharing – please indicate if you’re happy for us to share your details when booking

Tilton Village Hall has 2 electric car charge points

Oakham Train Station is 8 miles away – if you’d like to bike on rural roads to our farm we can send a route.

disability access

The tour will cover at least a mile of walking on uneven, sloping, potentially muddy ground. Please bring suitable footwear and clothing. Unfortunately unsuitable for people with mobility difficulties, including wheelchair users.

more information?

Please contact us at halsteadhillfarm@gmail.com for more information

We also welcome class visits from schools and colleges to share outdoor learning about farming, conservation and food production. If you or someone you know are interested please email to arrange a visit