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Exciting transition at West Town Farm: Welcoming a new chapter

We have some significant news to share with you; our cherished WTF community. After dedicating forty years nurturing West Town Farm, our wonderful Andy Bragg (Farmer Andy) has decided to retire. Andy has lived on the farm his whole life, first as a son of Roy & Sylvia and then as a tenant farmer in 1982, opening the farm to the community and championing sustainable and organic farming practices, long before they were mainstream. Just two years ago he purchased the farm, securing it from potential development; an exhausting process but one he’s incredibly proud of. 

Andy is now ready to step back from farming and move away from daily operations. His passion for organic farming remains and he’s kept a small herd of cows at his fields in Shillingford - you can take Andy out of the farm, but you can't take farming out of Andy - and this herd will supply our farm shop for the foreseeable future. Andy will remain involved at West Town and will help me (Grace) with running our events, shepherds hut, glamping and the farm shop. 

A few words from Farmer Andy 

“In the early part of this year I retired from looking after cattle at West Town Farm. After 40 years of looking after the livestock at the farm, Kate and Simon have now taken on the role of farmers. I will miss the beautiful early mornings at the top of the farm. There is something special about the mix of farm animals and wildlife, all going about their daily business and the sense of satisfaction when looking at the cattle whether they be mums with calves or older ones and to notice that they are healthy and content; that they are in a field where they are supposed to be and that they have enough food and water for the day.”

Meet Kate and Simon - New tenant farmers

Kate has been working alongside Andy for the last 13 years, gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience and Simon has many years of land management experience along with farming large flocks of sheep.

They hope to move forward with the tenancy by lowering the size of the beef herd and increasing the sheep flock. They have a Devon Closewool flock, that finish well on pasture alone and ‘Arthur’s Flock’, a mixture of Romney crossed with Exmoor Horn, which have a beautiful fleece and an amazing flavour. They will continue to keep cattle, a Hereford cross breed and a new Devon Red Bull to add some high breed vigour this year. And will sell lamb through the farm shop and meat boxes directly to customers, as well as supplying the organic market, so watch this space for Kate’s farm tours, food evenings and small-holding courses. 

Simon and Kate are keen to continue Andy’s amazing work of regenerative farming, education, access to land and high standards of animal welfare. 

What’s next for West Town Farm?

Kate and Simon are on a rolling 2 year tenancy, which we hope will continue long into the future. Our farm shop will continue to sell certified pasture fed beef. Pumpkin picking, grown by Kate, will still be on the calendar. And we’ll continue to host educational visits with Kate and organicARTS.

Andy, myself, James, Vicki and Adam will continue to keep the yard looking beautiful as well as hosting weddings, glampers and shepherd hut guests. And Kate will continue to have support from James and Adam too.

We hope you will join us in welcoming this new chapter and feel reassured that West Town Farm will remain the regenerative and community focused farm you know and love.

You can follow Kate directly to get more information on her goings ons @katewesttownfarm - instagram.



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