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My family is privileged to be the caretakers of such a beautiful spot in Somerset and we have no intention of keeping it to ourselves. My father and grandfather before him, have let villagers from Haslebury and North Perrott walk over the farm, exercising their dogs and horses, providing that they do so responsibly. On the whole, everyone keeps to the few simple rules and courtesy that are required to continue this tradition. However, in recent years walking activity on the farm has increased so much that at times, it impinges on my ability to farm safely.
It is not common for landowners to offer the recreational facilities that we do to the local community and I now have to declare the fact to my insurers. They in turn are nervous of letting the public roam on what is essentially an above average, dangerous workplace.
To mitigate their worries, I have promised, as part of my due diligence, to provide education on the health and safety aspects of walking on the farm. This I hope will stave off the day that the powers to be say that it is too dangerous to walk in the countryside !?
To help me, I would ask that everyone that walks or rides on the farm subscribe (its free!) to the relevant mailing list. You are able to edit your own details and remove yourself from the list if you feel it is necessary. I will be able to use the newsletter as proof that I have educated those who walk and ride over the farm and you might find out something that you didn't know about the farm. Everyone should be better off as a result.
It is not a requirement for walkers to join but I would consider it a courtesy for anyone who is currently walking off the footpaths to help me continue to allow this by taking part.
It has long been a requirement for horse riders to lodge their details in the farm office and this will replace the previous system. Horse riders must subscribe.
Anyone who knows someone who does not have access to the internet but wants to subscribe to either list, please ask the to go to the farm shop where we will add their name to the list and print out a hard copy of the newsletter.
Q.. Who is allowed to walk over the fruit farm.
A. Anyone providing they keep to the marked public footpaths and obey the countryside laws and keep to the countryside code.
Q. Where can I find out what is a footpath and what is not.
A. The footpaths do have arrows and marker posts but generally the OS rangefinder maps are the most accurate. Ultimately, the definitive map is held by Somerset County Council. Even their online map is not always correct as we have two footpaths that have temporary diversions and an extra permissive path that was agreed in 1993 to link the Liberty trail with the Parrett Trail. Join our mailing list to find out more.
Q. Who is allowed to walk around the orchard, off the footpaths.
A.. Anyone with the permission of the landowner (me!) I have always been happy to allow anyone from Haselbury or North Perrott to walk around the orchards, providing that they do so responsibly. There is no assumed right to roam just because you live in either village and no rights are conveyed if you are given permission.
Q. What do you mean by walking responsibly?
A. Not interfering with the day to day work of the farm and generally staying within the law.
Q. What is the most common problem that I should avoid?
A. You would not believe what people get up to but in general; Please leave an orchard as soon as you realise there is a tractor spraying. Do not walk between the apple rows, keep away from buildings, machinery and stacks of apple bins. Do not touch the apples, trees or stakes, do not steal firewood. Keep your dogs under close control at all times, especially around our free range poultry and do not allow them to chase pheasants or deer, all of which can lead to a criminal offence if not adhered to. No cars are allowed on the farm at any time unless invited to do so, for instance, for Pick Your Own. Please do not walk to the West of the main farm track or enter any of the woods or cut or cross a field boundary unless it is obviously a gate! etc. See the newsletter for a series of humorous and serious anecdotes.
Q. Can I walk on the farm if even thought I don't live in North Perrott or Haselbury?
A. Of course you have a right to walk on the footpaths but unfortunately, I have to draw the line somewhere because we are a working farm and not a Country Park.. From at certain times of year we open the farm to the public, for instance at blossom time. Please call in at the Farm Shop and ask for a map of the approved walks. These are for various abilities and take in the village and views over the the river Parrett for the more adventurous.