Richard has lived on the Shotley peninsula all his life, and joined his parents on the farm in 1971. Hazel is a foreigner (all the way from Dorset!) and is not a farmer's daughter. We have been living at Hill House since 1974 from where Hazel runs a Bed and Breakfast business separate to the farm.
We are the third generation of this branch of the Wrinch family to farm 520 acres of mixed arable land and a further 110 acres of marshland which is part of the Orwell SSSI - a nationally important area for wading birds. It is also a RAMSAR site and a SPA (Special Protection Area). Within these areas can be found at least 8 species listed in the BAP including Tawny and Little Owls, the corn bunting, yellowhammers, linnets and lapwing. Over 96 species of birds have been identified on the farm. Come and try to spot them. The River Orwell is considered by some to be the most ornithologically diverse estuary in Suffolk.
As our marshes are situated in close proximity to both the Orwell and Stour rivers and to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve on the Trimley marshes, they are of vital importance for breeding, passage migrant and wintering waders and wildfowl.
The working farm is situated at Shotley Hall Farm. Our 280 sow pig herd used to be at Charity Farm, Wades Lane but sadly this closed in 2007 due to environmental constraints. We sold our beef herd in 2002 as it was uneconomic.
Today the farm is purely arable and we grow winter wheat, spring barley, oats, sugar beet and potatoes.
We see ourselves as custodians of the land for our lifetime. The land is ours from which to derive our livelihood and then to pass on to the next generation in as good health (or even better) than when we took it on.
In the summer of 2007 we were privileged to be awarded the Kerr Cup which is the Suffolk FWAG's (Farming & Wildlife Group) Farm Conservation Award which reflects our care for habitats. We also joined the DEFRA Higher Level conservation Scheme.