The core Farming estate primarily consists of let farmland and sits within the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). We have eight individual let holdings as well as smaller areas of bare land that are let on either long term or on a seasonal basis.
The large majority of estate land is occupied for the purposes of dairy production.
In addition to the dairy holdings there are mixed farms producing beef, lamb and various arable crops. There is also an Arab stud at Combe Farm.
The Combe Estate is committed to investment in agriculture and where possible to ensure that our core farms remain sustainable and viable agricultural units into the future. Diversification is encouraged where it sits well with the overriding objectives of the estate
At the heart of the estate sits Gittisham Hill which is a 250 acre Devon Pebblebed heath. This area is subject to an environmental stewardship agreement the objective of which is to enhance the bio-diversity of the site. Through a programme of mechanical scrub clearance, burning and grazing by our herd of Ruby Red Devon Cattle the site has been improved greatly over the past fifteen years.
There has been a huge increase in the variety of flora and fauna present on the site as a direct result of the management plan in place. The work is carried out by estate staff and a proportion of the funding comes via the Higher Level Stewardship Agreement administered by Natural England.
The mainstay of the management of the site are our small herd of Ruby Red Devon Cattle. The “Gittisham Herd” are registered with the Devon Cattle Breeder’s Society and are particularly adept at grazing the low value forage on the heath. Occasionally beef from these cattle is available to purchase from the estate or through Bartletts Farm Shop at Hayne Farm.