THE PLACE - Lee Moor, a transformation
Lee Moor is part of Northumberland Estates and as such the Browns have a direct link starting on 16th March 1950 when the family moved into a rather run-down Lee Moor Farm, near Rennington, Alnwick. The farm was 130 hectares and in the late 1960s a further 30 hectares were added taking the farm to 160 hectares.
“Lee Moor’s history has followed that of the industry and perhaps now is leading by example – policy makers take note! In 1950 it was a mixed beef, sheep and cereal farm; by the 1970s my father Eddie had introduced pigs and chickens and then sold those to invest the capital to transform the farm into a specialist beef and cereal farm. By my father’s death in 1986 the farm had become an efficient mixed farm but farming was changing and I decided to specialise in arable crops to free up time off the farm.”
- Lee Moor is transformed by 8 km of restored hedges, 7 new ponds, 26 hectares of woodland (including 6 hectares of willow for fuel), a reed bed and 20 km of grass margins
- Became the 13th member of LEAF, Lee Moor becoming a demonstration farm and Ian becoming regional Chairman
- Discovered a source of natural mineral water below ground
- In 1994 started converting all the buildings to non agricultural use
- Fitted the first rural district heat main – heating the houses and business park from wood grown on the farm. Also fitted a set of grid-connected solar panels
Lee Moor produces many social and environmental outputs but the farming is now carried out by Percy Farms Ltd – the landlord’s farming operation – as the farm is no longer a financially viable farming unit!! Time for more change?