About Whitelee Farm, Peak District
One mile off the beaten track and nestled in the lush green valley by the River Dane, Whitelee Farm offers an extraordinary experience for those seeking to get away from it all.
Contact with nature is quite literally on your doorstep. Livestock graze on the pastureland surrounding the huts for much of the year; pheasants are in abundance; and the wild bird song is outstanding.
The farm has benefitted over the years from a program of continuous investment in traditional features such as stone walls meaning that this traditional farmstead is well preserved and beautifully presented. There are also a number of ongoing conservation projects working with accredited partners to ensure the protection of ancient woodland and species for many future generations to enjoy.
Living and working in such spectacular scenery is a real privilege for our family and the addition of the 2 Shepherd Huts 'Dane Valley' and 'Hen Cloud' has given us the opportunity to share this amazing haven.
If you are looking for full throttle entertainment then this is not the place for you. If however, you are seeking to switch off, eat when you are hungry and sleep when you are tired then you have found your spot.
We are for adults only
But that doesnt mean we are not a family enterprise
The huts are run by Emma and Nick who live in Wincle just down the road from the Farm. Passionate about rural life we are very aware of the priviledge of raising a young fammily in such outstanding location.
Often to be seen at the Farm (but keeping our distance) the chilren are very involved in the business of the shepherd huts... and have been known to drop off a trailer or 2 of logs for the firepit!
OUR FARMING WORLD
Comparative to some farms in the Peak District and indeed the local area, our family owned and run farm is considered to be under 'new' ownership.
Owned and farmed by our family over the last 35 years; and with 3 generations involved in one way or another, Whitelee Farm has benefitted from significant investment over the years with the ambition of restoring the environment and its buildings to use and suitable for modern agriculture. This is by its nature an ongoing project with a never ending to do list!
The main farm complex is located a mile down the farm drive and comprises of a 16th Century Grade 2 listed farmhouse, with associated restored stone barns and buildings set around a traditional farmyard. Adjacent to the traditional farmstead is the new farmyard with a large modern barn for housing livestock in the winter months.
Looking further afield around the farm there are restored stone walls, new boundary hedging to encourage wildlife; all completed as part of an active landscape management plan. A farm of mixed cattle use, we have dairy, beef and sheep stock on the farm that are grazing the fields for as many months of the year as possible.
In the 1990's a breed called the Aberdeen Angus cow came to prominence in the media. Commonly revered amongst 'foodies' as the best beef that money could buy; it was critically acclaimed for the quality and tenderness of the meat.
At Whitelee Farm we started a small herd. Over the last two decades we have supplied food boxes locally, working very hard with local butchers to ensure that we achieve the perfect cuts of beef that are 'well hung' in order to ensure that we can maximise both the flavour and tenderness that is demanded from our customers. We are also very proud of our ongoing contract to supply a premium national retailer with our beef products.
Beef aside, we also have our own hens and have recently started a tiny flock of Herdwick Sheep - only 3 little ladies, but you have to start somewhere.
We also tenant out a proportion of the farm to a local dairy and sheep farmer; so in the spring and summer there is an abundance of lambs and calves on the farm to watch and enjoy.
DANE VALLEY WOODLAND PROJECT
The Dane Valley supports one of the highest concentrations of semi- natural and ancient woodland in the Peak District. Home to a herd of red deer, the woodlands also support the habitats of nationally threatened birds including the Pied Flycatcher and the Redstart.
Designed to support Upland Oak Woodland; the project, funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund with support from Environmental Stewardship, England Woodland Planting Scheme and SITA trust, was formally completed in 2014.
As a result, we planted in excess of 3,500 trees supporting new and existing woodland areas. An ongoing management plan ensures that these areas are thriving.
PEAK PARK BOUNDARY WALK
Officially opened in 2017, the Peak Park Boundary walk covers the full boundary of the Nations' first National Park. Covering a distance of 190 miles, and ranging from the limestone scenery of the Derbyshire dales, through to Staffordshire's rugged moorland and the undulating pastureland of the 'White peak' in Cheshire; Whitelee Farm is on stage 17 of the 20 routes that have been split into roughly 10 mile sections.
In 2016 we were delighted to be the first farm in the area to be accepted for LEADER funding - an EU programme that aims to provide funding for businesses and organisations looking to begin or expand their operations in rural areas. Our specific area for support was around Rural Tourism and providing employment from the Cheshire Leader Fund.
The grant has enabled our farm to diversify and invest, enabling others to share our amazing environment.
To find out more about this support tool for rural businesses take a look at www.cheshireleaderfund.co.uk