Our Farming System

Foggage, organic and free range

Our tenant farmer, Ben Hollins, operates a permaculture-based, organic system of outdoor grazing called 'Foggage Farming'. This means that Fordhall’s breeding cattle and sheep live outdoors throughout the year, making them completely pasture-fed.

Developed by the late organic pioneer Arthur Hollins, it was designed to move the farm away from a reliance upon costly chemical inputs after the Second World War. Arthur’s youngest son, Ben, continues to carry out this sustainable and regenerative way of rearing livestock.

Foggage Farming

This regenerative farming system relies on a vast diversity of grasses and herbs in our pastures - in fact over 70 different plant species have been recorded in our pastures!

This variety provides a healthy and medicinal diet for the livestock (keeping veterinary intervention very low) and the tight root structure of the permanent pasture means that livestock can be wintered outdoors without ruining (or poaching) the ground.

All livestock is 100% free-range. This system is sustainable, healthy for the livestock, low in embedded energy and works best when wildlife and biodiversity are also thriving - a system of reciprocal benefits.

Pasture-fed cows and sheep

Ewes sheep in field in summer

Fordhall’s topography allows the livestock to live entirely off our organic pastures all year-round. Herd rotation around our water meadows and top-of-the-valley sandbanks keeps the animals healthy and pastures in good condition. All have access to spring-fed water, trees for shelter and plenty of diversity in their browse – also known as silvopasture.

Winter grazing is supplemented with organic haylage cut from fields managed by farmer Ben, some of which include SSSI wildflower meadows rented from Shropshire Wildlife Trust.

By working with our landscape and the rich diversity of nature, we support our tenant to create a farming system which is low in inputs, requires little veterinary intervention and is resilient and regenerative.

Free-range pigs

Our free-range Gloucester Old Spot pigs root and rummage through the undergrowth or shelter beneath the apple trees in their paddocks.

They are provided with doorless shelters, which they can enter and exit as they choose. Our sows farrow (give birth) without cages, providing them with the freedom to nurture their babies, generate bonds and follow their natural instincts.

Giving a happy life to our livestock is something that sits at the centre of Fordhall’s values. They are fed a GM-free feed, plus whatever falls from the trees or what they find within the soil.


pasture for life certified soil association logos

The tenant holds organic certification for Fordhall’s pasture, cattle and sheep through the Soil Association. All cattle and sheep are also Pasture for Life certified.

The farm butchery is not certified organic and therefore, whilst the cattle and sheep are reared to organic standards and certified as such, they lose this certification at slaughter. This means they cannot be labelled as organic in the farm shop.

If you have any further questions on this or how the Fordhall livestock are reared or looked after, the farm shop team will be pleased to speak to you. Please feel free to contact James (farm shop manager) shop@fordhallfarm.com

Things to do during your stay


You will be left to your own devices during your stay, and are free to explore our picturesque organic farm. We have farm trails weaving around the farm, which will take you around our pastures, woodland and along the river. Why not say hello to some of our friendly animals as you explore?

Our organic Farm Shop is a short walk away, where you can purchase delicious local produce to prepare in the yurts. We can also provide you with a hamper of your favourite goodies to make your stay stress- and decision-free – just let us know when you book.

Our yurts are designed to help you reconnect with nature, your loved ones and yourself. They are well and truly off-grid. For this reason we have no Wi-Fi facilities at the yurts. There are electricity sockets available for use at the farm in the main building, but with the Shropshire Hills as your playground, this is the perfect place to switch off!

The nature of our yurts and surroundings lends itself perfectly to families that home educate; there are so many new experiences you can enjoy with your children whilst they learn about the natural world first hand.

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