The Dale Family & Farm

Farmers are gardeners just on a bigger scale...

The Dale family have been farmers as far back as 300 years. Secrets of the local land have been passed on from generation to generation, always being taught to be a custodian of the countryside, to "leave the land as you found it". Whether it be February or July there is always something happening on the farm, our 500 acres of farm is working 24/7 so whether the sheep are being moved from one field to another, the kale being picked to go to our nationwide supermarkets or the wheat being harvested whenever you visit the farm you’ll be in for a surprise!

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The Dale Family have been farming and living on Manor Farm since 1945. Manor Farm is located in the quaint village of Bourton-on- the- Hill. 220 acres of our farm was used as a dairy farm producing 3,200 pints of milk a day by Friesian Cows. We stopped dairy farming in 2007 and now half of our farm is used to grow grain, wheat, barley and oats while the other half is used to farm vegetables such as peas, brussel sprouts, black kale and cabbage farmed at a high level of proficiency.

On our farm are two Tithe Barns that were built by Westminster Abbey, who owned the farm for over 535 years, dating back to 1472. These barns were used as storage for the village Tithes, as old cow sheds and shire horse stalls, one of which we have converted into the Dale Farm Museum. The Dale family house is opposite to the museum, where Robin lives now, it was two barns used as racehorse training stables but converted by Robin into a stunning Cotswold Stone house in 1979.

With our in depth local knowledge and true off the beaten track opportunities we have utilised this to offering tailor made tours around the Cotswolds and beyond and we like to invite our touring guests to experience our family’s history and land, perhaps you might put your hand towards learning a country art, learn how to make our traditional dry stone walls, or learn how we plant the farm year to year.

What you’re likely to see and when you visit…

January to March

Seeding over the winter is starting to see the world and the brown soil fields and starting to produce. Our 500 sheep are all out in the fields eating the remains of the vegetables fating them up for birth come April. Possibly a hedge laying demonstration from Robin Dale learn this rural art that Prince Charles regularly does himself and he was taught by Robin.

April to June

Life on the farm has begun and coming to life, the lambs will be out in the fields and you might be lucky enough to see one come into the world in the lambing pens. All the barley and oats are growing rapidly and it’s interesting to see the different varieties we grow and where in the world they end up.

July to September

A busy time on the farm harvesting, ploughing and reseeding, you might be lucky enough to see the combine out in the fields cutting the wheat, our black kale, sprouts and cabbage are all planted and start growing immediately.

October to December

Most of the country are depressed the winter is here but as farmers we’re looking forward to getting the vegetables out of the ground, the kale and sprout fields are beautiful an amazing scene worth seeing. The landscape is changing with the stunning foliage and planting is beginning ready for next summer.