Chypraze Farm sits atop Portheras Cove in West Cornwall – a spectacular location for a very special farming enterprise. Ian and Mervyn took over their family farm in 2009, soon realising that its former business as a small dairy farm was no longer viable.
A new approach had to be developed – one that put food quality, animal welfare and environmental stewardship right at the heart of life on the farm. The farm’s original outbuildings were put into use again, as they were from a bygone era when all animals were outdoor grown and pasture fed. Traditional rare breed pigs – the Saddleback and Middle White – were reintroduced and given 15 acres to roam, with some of the best views in the county!
Chypraze is also working with Natural England, utilising its herd of 100% pasture fed Highland cows to improve the diversity of the environment on the cliff fields. This native rare breed is ideal for the rough and steep terrain and is being used to reduce the density of gorse and to encourage other plants, shrubs, heathers and grasses. The maritime lowland heathland is gradually returning, and with it the unique fauna and flora which includes ground nesting birds such as the stonechat, whitethroat and lark, lizards, slow worms and butterflies like the Grayling.
The holy grail of these conservation efforts is the Cornish Chough. This is where the Highlands have a critical role to play – their dung provides the perfect home for the bugs that choughs must have to survive. There are now regular sightings of a small flock of choughs feeding on Chypraze.
Chypraze Farm can be found at market in Falmouth every Tuesday.