(Last Updated:  September 2019)

latest news

INTRODUCING AN ENTIRELY UNIQUE AND STRIKING APPROACH TO FARMING!

SEPTEMBER 2019

Farming in the 21st Century is far from straightforward, however Roundoak Farm at Sutton Valence and its sister farm at Kings Oak at Ulcombe, situated on the tranquil and beautiful southern slopes of the Greensand ridge overlooking the Weald of Kent, have developed their own multifaceted unique farming enterprise, hinged around their specialist care of rare breed cattle and sheep.

It was the idea of Norman and Ruth Coles, with no notable experience in farming, to embark on this venture, and started with the acquisition of only a few Hebridean sheep at Roundoak. They were initially referred to as ‘Colesy and his old goats’ in the local pub, and the idea was originally met with skepticism and in the early days we recall being the laughing stock of some of the local farmers! Admittedly, the journey has been very interesting and at times challenging, but I don’t think that anyone is laughing now!

Stock levels across both farms now stand at some 120 cows and calves, 3 bulls, and some 700 sheep.  Following on from the Hebridean sheep, we acquired Highland cattle, and then more rare breed sheep including North Ronaldsays and the endangered Borerays. More recently the farm also added the stunning, rare and ancient White Parks to the farm, which are native to the UK. Finally our most recent acquisition, at the request of the Rare Breed Survival Trust has been Vaynol cattle, similarly beautiful and rare beasts. The farm also has a breeding herd of Sussex cattle.

It is of note that that the farm also has royal connections with both our bulls, the Duke and Prince of Balmoral being former members of the Queen’s stock at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, as are many of our breeding heffiers. We have a great relationship with Dochy Ormaston the Queen’s highland stockman and regularly have the pleasure of staying on The Estate.

A key facet of our enterprise is the use of the farms’ stock in conservation grazing throughout the County, especially for many conservation groups such as Kent wildlife trust, Medway Countryside Partnership, KCC at some of its country parks and a number of large houses privately owned with land. This use of livestock grazing is essential for the management of many of Kent’s wildlife habitats. 

Rare breed animals are slower growing than their crossbred counterparts, and as a result their meat is tastier, more lean and lower in cholesterol and therefore has significant health benefits for the consumer. Another unfortunate side effect of cross-bred animals who are obese, is that it has resulted in so many calving and lambing problems, unlike the rare breeds who commonly birth unaided and with ease. Despite this, however, it didn’t take long for us to discover that at the local market the rare-breeds would get trashed on weight and price, and therefore have little or no short-term commercial value. Unfortunately it is our `observation that food production in this country has taken over from the general welfare of the animals.

Through this realization, we began to identify the need to expand and diversify into other areas including tourism and events. This has included caravanning and camping, glamping and events such as weddings, corporate and formal functions, and we also now run several annual events including a gin festival and a beer festival. We use and sell our own homegrown meat where possible and we also recently opened up a pop up butchery selling our homegrown produce either fresh or frozen.

Our increased emphasis on events has also seen the creation of our incredibly unique Yard bar. Although not yet licensed, it is the quirkiest area ever, with discarded farm clutter the focus is on the up side down cattle tombstone feeder which forms the bar top. We have had many private functions in this area and our 5 acres of woodland, which includes a stage for open-air bands, large fire pit and entertainment area.

Although we are not actually ‘open to the public’, we do encourage people to make an appointment to come and look round the farm, as getting the public to the farm is hugely important to us and allows us to educate people to understand a lot more about the rare breeds and their value. Through personal farm safari style tours of the farm on our farm buggies, visitors are able to get up close to the animals and can see for them selves our animals are happy and well cared for.

Lastly, we have our own unique way of dealing with our older stock. We hated taking our old cows to market where we were trashed on price – sometimes not making more than a few hundred pound, but what alternative was there? We tentatively put an advert on Preloved – wondering if anyone else would feel they same way about our magnificent and much loved Highland cows. In fact, we could not believe the response, we have since sold in excess of 30 beasts to kind people all over the UK, who have had some land and wanted to care for these lovely animals.

Roundoak and Kings Oak are continuing to expand. We have a regular newsletter and our Facebook page continues to grow. People like to feel that they are a part of this ‘new age farming enterprise’! Despite all this we do still regard ourselves as a commercial farming enterprise, however we sell a unique concept and product, and are passionate about our role in helping to preserve our endangered and rare breeds.

The farm can be contacted on 01622 844491 or by email at info@roundoak-hebridean.co.uk.

SUMMER NEWSLETTER 2019

ON THE FARM ......

We have been extremely busy on the farm, moving and tending to stock grazing throughout the county as part of Conservation Grazing Programme.   We have recently extended the number of sites that we graze, these now include land at Loose and also Harrietsham.

We are currently hay making in preparation for winter and carrying out a lot of stock husbandry - shearing and worming sheep and tending to cattle.

NEW ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES ......

This period on the farm has seen several new addition, both via our breeding programme and also from external sources.

Below is the last of our 2019 calves to be born.   The Duke of Balmoral is back with the girls ready to produce our 2020 calves in the Spring.

White Park

The Farm also gained a further 6 White Park heifers, from Guy Middleton at Chirk Castle.

Light Sussex Chicken

Silver Laced Bantham

Speckled Sussex

Orpington

Polish

Muscovey Duck

We also continue to move older stock on to new homes advertising via Preloved and via word of mouth.

CAMPING, GLAMPING, WEDDINGS, FUNCTIONS AND EVENTS AT ROUNDOAK

This is obviously our busiest season in terms of the camping, clamping and events.

  The events side of our business has increased dramatically this year, and the introduction of the Yard Bar has proven a hit with both holiday makers and those requiring a venue for a special event.

These areas are available for hire as is our woodland.

   

KINGS OAK BARN HAS NOW BEEN COMPLETED!

After several months of hard work, the new barn at our sister farm at Kings Oak is now complete.

    

We have also obtained planning permission for a temporary dwelling at Kings Oak, which will allow the Farm Manager to stay on site and oversee the stock there.

UPCOMING ROUNDOAK EVENTS:

Up and coming events include weddings and private functions and our second  'Gin 130' event on the 20th July.

The stage is set .....

Firepits ready ....

     

Tickets for this event are still available from www.eventbrite.co.uk at a cost of £15 per adult.

ROUNDOAK PRODUCE

Please do not forget that Roundoak also supply and sell meat direct form the farm including beef, pork and lamb.

Visitors to the farm by arrangement are always more than welcome!

Anyone interested in finding out more about any of the items in the newsletter - conservation grazing, camping, massages, room bookings and events or any other aspect of life at Roundoak, please contact Norman (07811209409) and Ruth (07969009509) or the Farm Office (01622 844491).

We're delighted to announce that we're returning this summer with another Gin 130 at Roundoak Farm!

We invite you to once again enjoy an evening in our beautiful woodland clearing, sampling some of the finest music, food and drink that Kent has to offer..

Click the image below for ticket information.

ROUNDOAK SPRING NEWSLETTER 2019

WHATS ON AT THE FARM ....!  

   This year is set to be possibly our busiest ever at Roundoak and its sister farm Kings Oak. After a mild and relatively dry winter, we are now entering our busiest time of year on the farm - preparing for the year ahead. We have already welcomedour newest arrivals ....

    

     

  

AN OVERVIEW OF OUR STOCK

Across the farms, we are now running our largest numbers of cattle and sheep both in terms of variety and numbers (please see below for an overview of our current stock).

MEET OUR CATTLE  ....

THE HIGHLANDERS

     

HIGHLAND BULLS

THE SUSSEX CATTLE

     

SUSSEX BULL - 'THE CAPTAIN'

WHITE PARK CATTLE

VAYNOLS

MEET OUR SHEEP ....

HEBRIDEAN

HEBRIDEAN RAMS

BELTEX RAM

BORERAYS

BORERAY RAM

NORTH RONALDSAYS

NORTH RONALDSAY RAM

SUFFOLK MULES

BLACK WELSH MOUNTAINS

BLACK WELSH MOUNTAIN RAM

CHICKENS/DUCKS

HARRIS HAWK

CONSERVATION GRAZING

The Farm continues to expand its conservation grazing programme and has agreed to continue its previous grazing partnerships with the Kent Wildlife Trust and Kent County Council for example. It has also agreed several new sites for 2019 is currently also in discussion with both Leeds castle and West Malling. The Farm recently received specific interest following the introduction of White Park Cattle and very endangered Vaynols to the the Farm, and were featured in March's issue of the NFU Magazine and there is also an article due to the printed in the Rare Breed Survival Trust magazine.

GREAT CRESTED NEWTS

In 2019 Roundoak also plans to expand its work with rare breeds to include the Great Crested Newt! Roundoak Farm's sister farm Kings Oak has partnered with Medway Valley Countryside Partnership and obtained planning permission for two new newt ponds. It is hoped that this will help to protect this endangered reptile.

Great Crested Newts are the biggest newt species in the UK and have been around for approximately 40 million years.

They are widely distributed throughout Britain but this distribution is extremely patchy; they’re absent from Ireland and have disappeared from many sites across Europe. They are the largest of our native newt species. Great crested newts are a European protected species. The animals and their eggs, breeding sites and resting places are protected by law.

Adults grow to up to 15 cm in length. Skin is black or dark brown and has a rough, ‘warty’ appearance. Underside is bright orange with irregular black blotches. Males have a crest along their backs which is more pronounced during the breeding season. Males have a white flash on the tail and females a yellow/orange one.

Favour large ponds with abundant weeds and no fish. Active at night, spending the day at the bottom of ponds or in vegetation. Feed mainly on invertebrates and tadpoles. Their main predators are foxes, badgers, rats, hedgehogs and birds. Their existence is largely threatened by habitat loss and the intensification of farming practises. (https://www.froglife.org/…/amphibians-a…/great-crested-newt/ (https://www.froglife.org/info-advice/amphibians-and-reptiles/great-crested-newt/?fbclid=IwAR0WVz27hrhiXgZ3WdafMzF96u2LCdfWD9rprqJPpwZVaJud1vgaoBWOM-w) 21 January 2019).

The two ponds located on site at Kings Oak will be maintained in partnership with the Medway Valley Countryside Partnership.

2019 AT KINGS OAK!

We are so excited to announce major plans for our sister farm at Kings Oak. The building work will commence shortly in Spring, where the ground work has begun for a new barn.

 The barn will be used daily for storage and animal husbandry.We are also pleased to announce that we obtained planning permission to site a temporary mobile home at the farm, where a farm worker will be in permanent residence to ensure the safety of the animals based at Kings Oak.

MOVEMENT OF STOCK

This month we loaned one of our Royal Highland Bulls - 'The Prince' to Cholderton Farm - a Rare Breed Farm (https://choldertoncharliesfarm.com) that is open to the public. We have previously supplied the farm with a Highland heifer and several rare breed sheep.

FAMILY NEWS!

Earlier this Month Norman and Ruth's youngest grandson Oli, son of Louise and Mike Illsley was Christened in Broomfield Church.

ROUNDOAK EVENTS

https://www.roundoakevents.co.uk Our functions and events also continue to grow at Roundoak and expand at Kings Oak. The farm makes for a unique venue for functions of any kind with the exceptional back drop of the rare breeds.

No matter how big or small, formal or informal, Roundoak and its woodland, acres of grassland and backdrop of rare-breeds provides an unique, tranquil and stunning setting for an occasion. For further information please visit www.roundoakevents.co.uk or call us at the Farm on 01622 8444491.

REDROCK GLAMPING AT ROUNDOAK

 Our friends at Redrock Glamping (https://www.redrockglamping.co.uk) have also been preparing for the 2019 season, and have invested in lots of new equipment including several cast iron firepits and star-gazer furniture!

For further information please either call 07834 365 556 or email to redrockliving.life@gmail.com

FARM PRODUCE

The farm is promoting and expanding its 100% rare breed quality meat and operating a POP UP Butchery where people can make an appointment to visit the farm and buy produce.

Visitors to the farm by arrangement are always more than welcome, and we hope to host several OPEN DAYS in 2019, details of which to follow!

Anyone interested in finding out more about any of the items in the newsletter - conservation grazing, camping, events or any other aspect of life at Roundoak, please contact Norman (07811209409) and Ruth (07969009509) or the Farm Office (01622 844491).


ROUNDOAK EXPANDS ITS WORK WITH RAREBREEDS TO 

INCLUDE THE GREAT CRESTED NEWT!

Roundoak Farm's sister farm Kings Oak has partnered with Medway Valley Countryside Partnership and obtained planning permission for two new newt ponds. It is hoped that this will help to protect this endangered reptile.

    

Great Crested Newts are the biggest newt species in the UK and have been around for approximately 40 million years.

They are widely distributed throughout Britain but this distribution is extremely patchy; they’re absent from Ireland and have disappeared from many sites across Europe. They are the largest of our native newt species. Great crested newts are a European protected species. The animals and their eggs, breeding sites and resting places are protected by law.

Adults grow to up to 15 cm in length. Skin is black or dark brown and has a rough, ‘warty’ appearance. Underside is bright orange with irregular black blotches. Males have a crest along their backs which is more pronounced during the breeding season. Males have a white flash on the tail and females a yellow/orange one.

Favour large ponds with abundant weeds and no fish. Active at night, spending the day at the bottom of ponds or in vegetation. Feed mainly on invertebrates and tadpoles.

Their main predators are foxes, badgers, rats, hedgehogs and birds. Their existence is largely threatened by habitat loss and the intensification of farming practises. (https://www.froglife.org/…/amphibians-a…/great-crested-newt/ 21 January 2019)

The two ponds located on site at Kings Oak will be maintained in partnership with the Medway Valley Countryside Partnership. Visitors interested in any of the rarebreeds at either Roundoak or Kings Oak are welcome by prior arrangement. Please either visit the website www. roundoak-rarebreeds.co.uk or contact the Farm office on 01622 844491.

ENDANGERED VAYNOLS ARRIVE AT ROUNDOAK IN TIME FOR

CHRISTMAS!

The Farm has now welcomed the exceptionally rare breed Vaynol cattle to join its already established herds of Highland and White Park cattle.

Vaynol cattle are one of the rarest breeds of cattle in the UK – in April 2018 there were only 12 breeding females remaining (RBST, 2018). The three pregnant cows and two calves arrived all the way from their home in Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland. The Vaynol herd was originally established at Vaynol Park near Bangor in 1872 and was later moved in its entirety to near Leeds. More recently herds of Vaynol cattle have been distributed throughout the country to Lincolnshire and Scotland, and now to Roundoak in Kent, as a precaution in the event of outbreak a disease. It is hoped that Roundoak can play an instrumental role in ensuring the longevity of the herd, as it has previously in protecting and promoting its flock of Hebridean sheep. 

            

The once wild Vaynol cattle are nowadays considered semi-feral, but still have the wildness and distrust of humans of their ancestors. They are also exceptionally hardy, which means that they can survive on poor grazing and require very little maintenance. As a result of this, they will be ideally suited to developing Roundoak’s already well-established conservation-grazing program operating throughout Kent. Vaynol cattle are noted for their stunning looks usually all white and with black ears and nose or completely black. They are similar in looks to the White Park cattle that are also in residence at Roundoak.

Roundoak is also home to rare breed flocks of Hebridean, North Ronaldsay and Boreray sheep and also has several conventional herds including Sussex cattle and Suffolk mule sheep.

ROUNDOAK AUTUMN NEWSLETTER 2018

 ON THE FARM ...

Throughout the next few months the cattle will gradually be brought back from their summer conservation grazing to both Roundoak and Kings Oak Farms.

The ewes will be prepared for the Ram (Tup) who will be introduced sometime around November 5th 2018. The gestation period for ewes is five months, so lambs will be due around April 2019.

CONSERVATION GRAZING

We are currently in negotiations with several institutions, to expand our conservation grazing for 2019. 

In particular Roundoak Farm with it's excellence in Rare Breeds, has been in discussion with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust in connection with establishing a small heard of Vaynol Cattle at Roundoak.

Vaynol Cattle are the rarest breed of cattle in the UK and share similar characteristics to the White Parks, that were recently introduced to Roundoak.

Roundoak is passionate about it's work with Rare Breeds and Conservation Grazing. We are really excited about this survival project. In the history of the farm, Roundoak has proven to be a major player in taking Hebridean Sheep out of the endangered category. The farm also has Rare Breed Boreray and North Ronaldsay sheep.

We will let our friends and followers know how this develops.

NEW ARRIVALS THIS AUTUMN ...

Norman and Ruth are very excited and proud to announce the arrival of their youngest grandson!

Oliver Michael Illsley, son of Louise and Mike Illsley, was born on 6th August 2018 and brings the total number of their grandchildren to 8!

HARRY THE AMERICAN HARRIS HAWK

Harry is six years old and arrived from his previous owner in Southampton earlier this month. He has settled well and is currently being trained by Roundoak's Farm Manager - Paul Hutton.

Harris Hawks feed mostly on medium-sized mammals such as hares, rabbits, ground squirrels, and other rodents. They are highly social, and often found in groups with complex social hierarchies and engage in cooperative hunting and breeding.

They are extremely agile flyers, but may also run and hop on the ground in order to catch their prey. They soar at high altitudes, sometimes plunging into dramatic dives, or even hovering backwards.

It is hoped that Harry will be a big attraction for the many events and visitors to Roundoak Farm.

RARE BREED WHITE PARKS ARRIVE AT ROUNDOAK FARM IN KENT!

Seven rare breed White Park cows arrived in August at Roundoak Farm in Kent, from their home at Chirk Castle in North Wales. Chirk Castle was the former ancestral home of Myddelton family. Norman and Ruth Coles the owners of Roundoak travelled to North Wales where they met Guy Myddelton and were shown his herd of White Parks. It has been Roundoak's wish for many years to introduce White Parks to their farm, to compliment their many other rare breeds, and to include them in their conservation grazing programme throughout the South East.

White Park is an ancient breed of beef cattle, kept in Britain for more than 2000 years, but which are now extremely rare. In 1973, there were approximately only 60 animals left, a number which has now grown to approximately 950. It is currently classed as ‘minority’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

This stunning breed is known for its distinguished looks – large white animals with black points on their muzzle, ears, eye rims and feet, and elegant wide spreading horns with black tips. They are noted for ease of calving, milkiness and high fertility, and have excellent foraging ability and hardiness making them ideal for conservation management enabling Roundoak to further diversify and expand its current conservation grazing program to bring neglected and overgrown land back to serviceable management throughout the South East.

Guy Middleton is a member of the White Park Cattle society (whiteparkcattlesociety.ltd.uk/home) and it is hoped that Roundoak too will join the society after the acquisition of the cows, to promote the breed through its conservation project and thus strengthen its links with Guy Myddelton and Chirk Castle into the future.

Norman and Ruth would also like to thank the staff and owners of the West Arms Hotel (www.thewestarms.com) where they stayed during their visits to the area. This is a cosy hotel set in beautiful countryside and well worth a visit. With Roundoak's new connection with Chrik castle, we will definitely visit them again in the future!

HOLIDAYS AT ROUNDOAK

The favourable weather this year has seen the record numbers of campers and glampers at the Farm, and extended our busiest period through into Autumn. The additional facilities installed earlier this year have come in handy!

Reviews regarding the addition of 'The Yard Bar' to the farm's facilities have been particularly favourable, with many visitors enjoying the social aspect that this has brought.

The summer of 2018 also saw Roundoak host to numerous other social events - weddings, birthday parties and secret dinners and we are already booking up in 2019.

If you are interested in Roundoak as either a holiday or events venue, please contact the farm on 01622 844491.

UPCOMING EVENTS!

Roundoak's attraction as a venue continues to draw visitors all year round.

Following on from the success of last years 'Roundoak Winter Fair', we are planning to hold a 'Roundoak Carol Concert' this year - date to be confirmed.

The event will be centered around the farm yard and yard bar and will of course incorporate mulled wine, mince pies, sausages in rolls and traditional carols and fire pits!

       

This will be a ticket ONLY event so if you are interested in attending, please either visit www.roundoakevents.co.uk or call 01622 844491.

WINTER PRODUCE AT ROUNDOAK

Yes ... amazingly Christmas is coming again and if you are interested in stocking up your freezer for Winter or Christmas, the farm continues to expand the sale of meat from the Highland and Sussex cattle, lamb from the Hebridean sheep and also pork including sausages and bacon from the pigs.

Visitors to the farm are welcome by prior appointment please contact Norman or Ruth on 01622 844491.

NEW ARRIVAL  TO THE FARM THIS MONTH - HARRY THE AMERICAN HARRIS HAWK

Harry is six years old and arrived from his previous owner in Southampton earlier this month.  He has settled well and is currently being trained by Roundoak's Farm Manager - Paul Hutton.

Harris Hawks feed mostly on medium-sized mammals such as hares, rabbits, ground squirrels, and other rodents.  They are highly social, and often found in groups with complex social hierarchies and engage in cooperative hunting and breeding. 

They are extremely agile flyers, but may also run and hop on the ground in order to catch their prey.  They soar at high altitudes, sometimes plunging into dramatic dives, or even hovering backwards.

It is hoped that Harry will be a big attraction for the many events and visitors to Roundoak Farm.

RARE BREED WHITE PARKS ARRIVE AT ROUNDOAK FARM IN KENT! 

Seven rare breed White Park cows arrived this week at Roundoak Farm in Kent, from their home at Chirk Castle in North Wales. Chirk Castle was the former ancestral home of Myddelton family. Norman and Ruth Coles the owners of Roundoak travelled to North Wales where they met Guy Myddelton and were shown his herd of White Parks. It has been Roundoak's wish for many years to introduce White Parks to their farm, to compliment their many other rare breeds, and to include them in their conservation grazing programme throughout the south east. 

White Park is an ancient breed of beef cattle, kept in Britain for more than 2000 years, but which are now extremely rare. In 1973, there were approximately only 60 animals left, a number which has now grown to approximately 950. It is currently classed as ‘minority’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. 

This stunning breed is known for its distinguished looks – large white animals with black points on their muzzle, ears, eye rims and feet, and elegant wide spreading horns with black tips. They are noted for ease of calving, milkiness and high fertility, and have excellent foraging ability and hardiness making them ideal for conservation management enabling Roundoak to further diversify and expand its current conservation grazing program to bring neglected and overgrown land back to serviceable management throughout the South East. 

Guy Middleton is a member of the White Park Cattle society (whiteparkcattlesociety.ltd.uk/home) and it is hoped that Roundoak too will join the society after the acquisition of the cows, to promote the breed through its conservation project and thus strengthen its links with Guy Myddelton and Chirk Castle into the future. 

                 

Norman and Ruth would also like to thank the staff and owners of the West Arms Hotel (www.thewestarms.com) where they stayed during their visits to the area. This is a cosy hotel set in beautiful countryside and well worth a visit. With Roundoak's new connection with Chrik castle, we will definitely visit them again in the future!

SUMMER Newsletter 2018

 On the Farm ......  

The year seems to be progressing very quickly - we have had a very successful lambing season with our Hebrideans, North Ronaldsays and  Borerays. We have had all hands on deck to help feed the suck lambs (who have been left without mothers)!    

        

      

Calving with Sussex and Highland cattle is continuing, and both herds are growing.   

     

Most of the animals are now in their summer retreats conservation grazing with many of our partners such as Kent County Council and Medway Valley Conservation Trust. 

Roundoak and Kings Oak have also recently secured approximately 30 acres of new grazing at East Farleigh, and continue to graze the Medway River front from Teston Country Park to Barming.  

We have also had several chicks born.   

     

Our main focus on the farm at this time is the care of these new born animals and also making hay for forthcoming winter.   

     

CAMPING, GLAMPING, WEDDINGS, FUNCTIONS AND EVENTS AT ROUNDOAK

The farm also continues to grow in other areas, particularly its tourism and events. This includes caravan, camping and glamping facilities - a new toilet and shower block has been opened for the 2018 season.  

On the Events side, the farm also has a new function room and of course the recently opened 'Yard Bar'!  

     

These areas are available for hire as is our woodland.   

     

In June this year, we hosted our first wedding of 2018, which was a great success.   Despite the torrential rain and thunderstorms the week before, we worked to ensure that the Farm was in immaculate condition.  Luckily on the day itself, the rain stayed away and the day was a resounding success. 

Rain does not stop play at Roundoak thanks to 'Roger the Rainman'!  

Specific photos of this special day will be posted shortly on facebook. 

 NEW TO ROUDNOAK - MASSAGE ROOM NOW OPEN!

Roundoak is becoming very much a retreat and has now opened a new massage room.  The farm has its own therapist.   

Roundoak’s therapist – Kate Warrior, specialises in Sports, Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage and also Kinesiology taping.  For more information and to book an appointment please contact Kate on 07508 608317.  

(Kate is a qualified and Insured Sports rehabilitation Therapist BSc , who is currently undertaking a Masters degree in Osteopathy at the European School of Osteopathy.)  

*  Swedish Massage – aims to relax the individual, it stimulates circulation, decreases muscle tensions, relieves stress and improves lymphatic drainage. 

 * Sports Massage – aims to reduce muscle soreness and tightness, improve athletic performance, reduce swellings and prevent injuries. 

 UPCOMING ROUNDOAK EVENTS

Up and coming events include several more weddings and birthday parties, and of course the Midsummer's Night Gin event being hosted by Redrock Living on 22nd June.   

The stage is set .....  

Firepits ready ....   

Tickets for this event are still available from www.eventbrite.co.uk at a cost of £15 per adult.   

ROUNDOAK PRODUCE

 Please do not forget that Roundoak also supply and sell meat direct form the farm including beef, pork and lamb.    

Visitors to the farm by arrangement are always more than welcome!  

Anyone interested in finding out more about any of the items in the newsletter - conservation grazing, camping, massages, room bookings and events or any other aspect of life at Roundoak, please contact Norman (07811209409) and Ruth (07969009509) or the Farm Office (01622 844491).

Roundoak and kings oak farms win the kent countryside award 2018!


	

As a supporter, we are really excited to let you know that we have just been announced as winners of the Kent Countryside Award 2018! 

Winners in this category of the Taste of Kent Awards are chosen from farmers, growers of food and producers of rural business that contribute to the Kent Countryside.   

We are really proud that the judges recognised that all of activities on the farm, including Roundoak Events and Holidays are run with a focus on preserving, enjoying and raising awareness of rare breeds and their welfare, the Kentish Countryside and the production of high quality produce.

         

   

Whether visiting us on holiday or using Roundoak as a venue for any event, we very much hope that this will be another reason for us to see you again soon!

For more information please go to www.roundoak-hebridean.co.uk or call 01622 844491.   Those interested can also subscribe to receive our quarterly newsletter, and also follow us at Roundoak on Facebook.

rOUNDOAK SPRING NEWSLETTER 2018

The weather has been mild and wet so far this year, which has not been kind to our ground.  We prefer cold and crisp!!  

This is a time consuming period on the farm as most of the Highland cattle are in, as well as the Sussex Cattle who are also calving.  The sheep are all near home and ready to start lambing in April.   

   

       

Thus the Farming cycle begins again!

THE ROYALS ARE SETTLING WELL!

The Royal Highland Heifers and Bull ‘The Prince’, that were introduced to the Farm from Balmoral Castle at the end of 2017, have settled well.  

  

   

HOLIDAYS AT ROUNDOAK

  We have already started to take bookings for holidays at Roundoak for both caravaners and campers.  

        

ROUNDOAK EVENTS

https://www.roundoakevents.co.uk  We have also taken several bookings for functions in 2018 including a wedding, a naming ceremony and a 50th birthday party!  

No matter how big or small, formal or informal, Roundoak and its woodland, acres of grassland and backdrop of rare-breeds provides an unique, tranquil and stunning setting for an occasion.  For further information please visit www.roundoakevents.co.uk or call us at the Farm on 01622 8444491. 

REDROCK GLAMPING AT ROUNDOAK

Our friends at Redrock Glamping (https://www.redrockglamping.co.uk) have also been preparing for the 2018 season, and have invested in lots of new equipment including several cast iron firepits and star-gazer furniture!  

                        

    

For further information please either call 07834 365 556 or email to redrockliving.life@gmail.com.  

PRELOVED!

We advertised in Preloved with an exceptional response and have sold 30 cows and calves to a variety of people, most of whom wanted the animals as pets!! 

ROUNDOAK PRODUCE

Please do not forget that Roundoak also supply and sell meat direct form the farm including beef, pork and lamb. Visitors to the farm by arrangement are always more than welcome!  

Anyone interested in finding out more about any of the items in the newsletter - conservation grazing, camping, events or any other aspect of life at Roundoak, please contact Norman (07811209409) and Ruth (07969009509) or the Farm Office (01622 844491).

ROUNDOAK AUTUMN NEWSLETTER 2017

On the Farm...

On the Farming front we have been as busy as ever.   It has been a mixed summer weather wise -  at times quite wet when it mattered.  We are, however, once again set for Autumn and Winter with animal feed, having gathered the hay and sileage.

               

                

Stock is now sorted for the forthcoming year, with our Sussex and Highland herds.  The Ram is due to be introduced to the ewes in Nov/Dec for Spring Lambing.  Once again the cycle begins!     

                             

We have had a successful year selling our Highland Stock, using 'Preloved', for the first time!  Much of our stock has been purchased by people with small amounts of land, who just want to enjoy these magnificent beasts.  We have been able to obtain values well over an above that which we would expect for their meat.  Good news for the animals!!

'Kingsnorth Manor Farm' now 'KINGS OAK Farm'

Our sister Farm at Ulcombe, has been formerly known as Kingsnorth Manor Farm, however this has been misleading and lead to it being confused with 'Kingsnorth Manor'.   We are pleased to announce that it now has a permanent separate registered address, and will now be known as:     

Kings Oak Farm,

Crumps Lane,

Ulcombe

Kent

ME17 1EU

New arrivals this Autumn!

Roundoak has welcomed 6 New Guinea Fowl to the farm this Autumn, to compliment its existing brood of chickens and ducks.

Roundoak Holidays and Events ...

Things have developed dramatically on this front, and will continue to do so into next year.  As well as continuing to offer exclusive pitches to our Caravan Club members, our aim has been to develop our unique and beautiful setting to offer not only a further range of glamping and holiday options, but also to offer an exclusive venue for any event -  from informal entertaining, weddings and celebrations to more formal and corporate events.  In order to start to achieve this, 2017 has seen the introduction 'Redrock Glamping at Roundoak', the opening of our Yard Bar, the inception of 'Roundoak Wedding and Events' and has also seen Roundoak host to many events, including Norman's daughter Louise's wedding, 'The Beer Festival', and The Morris Dancers to name but a few.

These developments have meant that the number of visitors to the farm has increased yet again, and we are already working on plans to enhance our Sites at both Roundoak and Green Sand Farm in 2018!

Roundoak Weddings and Events

                 

          

'Roundoak Weddings and Events' was launched this Autumn, by Louise and Sophie, Norman's daughters. The idea developed quickly following the incredible success of a range of events over the last couple of years, not least of which was Louise's own wedding in June this year.

          

             

Roundoak's first ever Beer Festival held this year was also a huge success, and is set to become an annual tradition!

These and other events hosted at Roundoak over the last couple of years have generated so many enquires that we have recognised Roundoak's tranquil, unique and stunning location as an potential not only as a holiday location, but also as an exclusive venue for any event from informal entertaining, weddings and celebrations to more formal and corporate events.

We have already taken bookings for weddings and events next year, and are looking forward to hosting our first ever Winter Fair later this year (details below).

For further information please click on the logo below.

or call us on 01622 844491

or email us at

roundoakweddingsandevents@gmail.com

Redrock Glamping at Roundoak

'Redrock Glamping at Roundoak' was launched this Spring, and has been a phenomenal success.   Glamping at Roundoak consists of staying in one of our 5 metre bell tents, set on the Farm against a back drop of Kentish Countryside,  and surrounded by the rare breeds kept at the Farm.  The tents are fitted out to the highest standard and in the words of Manager's Pete and Karen.

' .... allow you the space to reconnect with nature, a loved one, the 'real' textures of life or just your thoughts!'

We have been fully booked throughout the summer weekends and have already invested in three additional tents to accommodate larger groups and additional bookings.  The reviews are testament to their sucess:

"Five stars all round! Just perfect."

Simon Clark - Calico 5th July, 2017​

..................

"Fantastic long weekend, stunning location and very chilled. Bell tents are lovely and very well stocked with everything you need. Very comfortable and cosy (and no airbeds!!!). Sitting around the fire pit at night, looking at the stars - brilliant! Peter, Karen & Norman - very hospitable and very friendly. We both didn't want to leave."

Sharon, Ben & Hutch the dog - Every 15th July 201​

..................

"We wanted a peaceful stay in the countryside and we got exactly that. It was great sitting by the fire on the porch at night enjoying a BBQ. Everything was provided for us and we couldn't ask for more. The surrounding area is lovely and well worth a trip out to enjoy on one the pubs. We took our dog and he had no shortage of spaces to curl up and sleep in the comfy tent. We enjoyed the beer festival on the first night. A perfect place to relax and get away. Peter & Karen were great, making sure we had everything we needed, bringing us more wood for our campfire."

Kevin & Amanda - Drake 17th July 2017

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For further information about Redrock Glamping at Roundoak, please click on the logo below or contact us by email at redrockglamping@gmail.com or by phone on 07834 365556.

https://www.redrockglamping.co.uk

The Yard Bar!

          

It is intended that the Yard Bar will become a Pop-Up Bar at various times of the year, to complement events held at Roundoak and to enable visitors to bring their own drinks and cook their own food on our Fire-pit.  All material used to create this area has been sourced from the Farm and in keeping with its rustic surroundings. This offer will be exclusive to 'Friends of Roundoak' so if we don't have your e-mail address, please let us know!

Upcoming Events!

As well as attracting many holiday makers throughout the summer and warmer months, the classic beauty of Roundoak and its rare breeds extends into the Winter months.

          

Against this backdrop, Roundoak is set to host its first ever ' Winter Fair' on Sunday 10th December from 3.30pm to 7.30pm.

          

Think mince pies and mulled wine around the fire pit at our Yard Bar, whilst enjoying the entertainment of the Morris Dancers and Christmas Choir, combined with a chance to browse a number of craft and gift stalls.

This is a ticket ONLY event so if you are interested in attending, please either visit www.roundoakevents.co.uk or call 01622 844491.

Winter Produce at Roundoak

If you are interested in stocking up your freezer for Winter, the farm continues to expand the sale of meat from the Highland and Sussex cattle, lamb from the Hebridean sheep and also pork including sausages and bacon from the pigs.

Visitors to the farm are welcome by prior appointment please contact Norman or Ruth on 01622 844491.

ROUNDOAK NEWSLETTER spring/summer 2017

SUSSEX AND HIGHLAND CALVES

SUSSEX CALVES 

With the introduction last year of a herd of pedigree Sussex cattle, the first of the new calves, sired by the Captain, arrived in May of this year.  Eleven have been born so far and we are awaiting a few more.


          

HIGHLAND CALVES

Our homegrown Highlanders calved in the Spring of this year, to continue the growth of our already well established stock.



        

        

OPRHANED HIGHLAND CALF FINDS NEW SUSSEX MUM AND IS ADOPTED!

This Highland calf's mother rejected him and we were really pleased that the passive nature of the Sussex allowed the calf to suckle alongside her own calf. 

LOU and MIKE's WEDDING!


 

On June 2nd of this year, Roundoak hosted the wedding of Norman's daughter Lou to Mike.  The day was such a success and led to the Farm announcing the launch of its exclusive wooded Roundoak Wedding and Events venue.  

Set in the heart of the Kentish Countryside, Roundoak with its rare breeds and acres of unspoilt woodland and fields provides a unique and rustic yet sophisticated venue for any celebration from weddings, birthdays and anniversaries to more formal functions including corporate events and entertaining.

Roundoak is also able to provide accommodation for guests at events either on the caravan and camping site or in our new luxury glamping tents.


For further information about Roundoak Weddings and Events, please visit www.roundoakevents.co.uk; or contact us by email at roundoakweddingsandevents@gmail.com or by phone on  01622 844491 or 07725 966617.























GLAMPING





As well as Roundoak Weddings and Events, in 2017 we teamed up with Redrock Living, and have the first of three luxury glamping tents available.  Roundoak is now host to three 5 metre bell tents, which fitted out to the highest standard with everything you will need for complete escape from the everyday rat race and will allow you the space to reconnect with nature, a loved one, the 'real' textures of life or just your thoughts.

This was launched in July of this year and already reservations have been received throughout the summer.   




         





For further information please click on the logo below or contact us by email at redrockglamping@gmail.com or by phone at 07834365556.

MEAT AND PRODUCE

Roundoak continues to supply its high quality meat and produce to both individuals and restaurants.   This year we are proud to add to our list of establishments that we supply:


The Curious Eatery - Fabulous feasts for all the family!

The Curious Eatery (at The Albion Inn)

1 Church Street Boughton Monchelsea Maidstone ME17 4HW

01622 299359
 
feast@thecuriouseatery.co.uk


The characteristics of the Highland and Sussex cattle are very similar to that of the Hebridean sheep, they are slow growing animals producing lean meat with little or no fat and low in cholesterol, an important health factor in this day and age! It is well know that slow growing plants and animals are healthier so taste better!!



For any enquires regarding any of our produce, please contact the Farm on either 01622 844491 or by email to  info@roundoak-hebridean.co.uk

UPCOMING EVENTS

Saturday 15th July from 3pm to 8pm

STRICTLY FAMILY FUN!!

This weekend Roundoak Farm is hosting its very own Beer Festival in aid of Leeds and Broomfield Churches. 
COME EAT, DRINK, RELAX, LISTEN TO LIVE MUSIC AND ENJOY THE COMPANY OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS IN OUR WOODLAND SURROUNDED BY ACRES OF UNSPOILT COUNTRYSIDE, OUR RARE-BREEDS AND WILDLIFE!
Tickets:  £10.00 (under 12's go free)
inc. one drink and hot food. 
*PLEASE NOTE TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE*


For tickets sales please call 01622 861280 or visit www.roundoakhebridean.co.uk for further information about the venue.


Roundoak newsletter spring 2017

As always the arrival of Spring hales some of the busiest months of the year for us on the Farm.  Whilst the hardier rare breeds require virtually no assistance with this, the more commercial breeds demand regular care and attention in order to ensure the safe arrival of their lambs.
With the arrival of Spring, our first Suffolk-mule lamb was born and we are expecting the remainder in the next few weeks.  Our pure breed Hebrideans, North Ronaldsays and Borerays have also started to lamb.
    
We also have some Hebrideans crossed with a Beltex ram...
    
The results are interesting ...
    
Both the Highland and Sussex cattle are due to start calving in mid Spring and throughout the summer.
    
New Arrival!
Joining Millie and Scruff, we have acquired a new trainee Cocker Spaniel pup, forming another breed line, her name is Tizz and she is fifteen months old.  We hope to breed from her in the near future with Millie's brother who still lives in the village. 
The Queen's Duke arrives at Roundoak from Balmoral!
    
Norman and Ruth, the owners of Roundoak have been visiting Braemar - near Ballater in Scotland, for over 20 years, where they had the good fortune to meet Dochy Ormiston, who is in charge of the Queens Highland cattle at Balmoral Castle.  After a few visits to The Balmoral Estate, The Farm expressed an interest in acquiring stock.  As a result, last week, Norman and Ruth drove the some 600 miles with a trailer to meet Dochy, and bring ‘The Duke’ - a pedigree Highland bull, back to Roundoak Farm at Sutton Valence in Kent.
 
‘The Duke’ will be introduced to our Highland stock in the Spring of 2017 to further increase The Farm’s number of these wonderful beasts, which can be seen all over the County in relation to our Conservation Grazing Programme.
Roundoak has supplied its Highland heifers to the Kent Wildlife Trust as part of its Conservation Grazing Programme.
The Kent Wildlife Trust has acquired ten of Roundoak's Highland Heifers to use as part of their conservation grazing scheme, by using the animals to maintain important meadows and grasslands at various Kent Wildlife Trust sites throughout Kent. This will help to bring neglected and overgrown land back to serviceable management.  

Roundoak is working to supply stock to other wildlife trusts across the country.  Roundoak are always looking for new grazing projects whether these be for Conservation Groups or individuals with a few acres that need to be kept under control.
Wedding Bells!!
As always we look forward to the busy year ahead.  This year will be particularly busy with Norman’s daughter Lou to marry Mike in June.  The ceremony will take place at Broomfield Church, and the reception will be held at here at the farm.  It should be a wonderful day, and we hope the weather will be kind!

The Farm can host a variety of functions, and has been host in the past to wedding receptions, corporate events, summer parties and children's parties.
Kingsnorth Manor Farm campsite.

This year we have opened another campsite at Roundoak's sister farm at Ulcombe.  This beautiful site has a number pitches available for both camping and caravaners, and we hope to develop the facilities at this site as the year progresses.


    


Please do not forget that Roundoak also supply and sell meat direct form the farm including beef, pork and lamb.

Visitors to the farm by arrangement are always welcome - why not pop in and see the lambs and calves!

Anyone interested in finding out more about any of the items in this newsletter - conservation grazing, camping, events or any other aspect of life at Roundoak, please contact Norman (07811 209 409) and Ruth (07969 009509) or the Farm Office (01622 850 471).

The QueEN's Highland Bull arrives in Kent!

      

Due to the unique relationship that has been forged between Roundoak Farm in Kent and the Queen’s Estate at Balmoral in Scotland, Roundoak are pleased to announce the arrival of a pedigree Highland bull – ‘The Duke’ - to the farm based in Kent. 

Norman and Ruth, the owners of Roundoak have been visiting Braemar - near Ballater in Scotland, for over 20 years, where they had the good fortune to meet Dochy Ormiston, who is in charge of the Queens Highland cattle at Balmoral Castle. After a few visits to The Balmoral Estate, The Farm expressed an interest in acquiring stock. As a result, last week, Norman and Ruth drove the some 600 miles with a trailer to meet Dochy, and bring ‘The Duke’ back to Roundoak Farm at Sutton Valence in Kent.

Roundoak is a unique concept set in the heart of the Kentish countryside, with 120 Highland cows and calves and in excess of 700 rare breed sheep including Hebrideans, North Ronaldsays and Borerays. The Farm also has some more commercial stock including a herd of Sussex cattle and some 100 Sussex Mule sheep.

‘The Duke’ will be introduced to our Highland stock in the Spring of 2017 to further increase The Farm’s number of these wonderful beasts, which can be seen all over the County in relation to our Conservation Grazing Programme in partnership with Kent Wildlife Trust, Kent County Council and Medway Valley Countryside Partnership, to name but a few.

The Farm produces a range of high quality meat for sale supplying individuals, local restaurants and butchers; and also sells stock commercially for breeding.

The unique set up at Roundoak receives a great deal of interest, and we encourage visitors on Open days, or by appointment throughout the year to allow others to explore and experience these rare breeds too.

For more information please go to www.roundoak-hebridean.co.uk or call 01622 844491. Those interested can also subscribe to receive our quarterly newsletter, and also follow us at Roundoak on Facebook.

Roundoak Newsletter Winter 2016

After one of the busiest Summers ever, with record numbers of visitors to the Farm, the nights are finally drawing in, and we are turning our attention to bedding the animals down for the Winter.  The hardier rare sheep breeds do winter out, however dependant on the ground conditions the cattle are generally brought in.  Roundaok sits on heavy clay, and it is imperative at this time of year to preserve the grass land to ensure fodder for the forth coming year at hay making time.

A LOOK BACk AT 2016!

The weather has played an important part of 2016, the beginning of the year the season leading up to haymaking was very wet, but this part of the south east missed a lot of the wet weather suffered buy other parts of the country. This is the latest in the Farm's history that the cattle have been left out grazing until nearly the mid part of November. There was a period when there was no rain in this area for over two months and grazing was critical and supplement feeding had to be introduced.

Conservation grazing

Roundoak continues grow and strengthen its relationships in this area with partners such as the Kent Wildlife Trust, Kent County Council, Medway Valley Conservation Trust - to name but a few. We were however, very sad in 2016 to be forced to withdraw grazing from Loose Valley, this was due to several dog attacks on the sheep, which we could not tolerate any longer.

On a happier note we were delighted that the Farm's continued growth in its relationship with Ashford Borough Council has resulted in further grazing at Singleton on a parcel of overgrow land next to the school. This area of land requires specialist grazing, and the Highland cattle of Roundoak are ideal for this purpose. We would like to thank Terry Jones for his support and hope that this relationship will continue to grow.

We also continue to graze for several private land owners at Court Lodge in East Farleigh, and also at East Malling, and we again supplied Lafarge (formally Blue Circle) with Hebridean Sheep for conservation grazing on their at Halling near Snodland.

We are pleased to announce that there are also further grazing projects being planned for 2017, and would like to thank all our private land owners and local partners for their support. We are always looking for new grazing projects. 

new arrivals in 2016!

Regular readers of our Newsletters will have seen the arrival of several newcomers during 2016 to the Farm - both animals and people!

As well as our human friends Nathan, and Laura, we have also been joined by several new animals. In 2016 we acquired a flock of Suffolk-Mules to the Farm, to introduce a more commercial aspect of the Farm, and to work alongside our rare-breed and conservation programmes.

On the cattle front, 'The Captain', our prize Sussex Bull arrived to accompany our herd of Sussex cattle.

On the sheep front - we have acquired a Suffolk Ram called Billy, and also Beltex Ram that is to be crossed with our existing Hebrideans. We will watch with interest the result!

                    

Sasha, the new trainee has also settled in well. She is loved by all at the farm and its visitors, and has terrific character.

Sad news from Roundoak

 It is with great sadness this week, that we said goodbye to Jenny, our Farm's original Cocker Spaniel, who died of old age. She will be very greatly missed by us all.

Events and Visitors in 2016!

Roundoak has welcomed many visitors with an interest in the Farm's activities through its gates this year. In October, Roundoak was particularly excited to open its gates to 30 pupils and their teachers from Marden Primary School. With the help of a perfect summer's day, the children spent the day interacting with and learning about all aspects of farm life, from the animals and their welfare, to the vehicles and their use, and generally increasing their understanding and appreciation of the great outdoors!

Roundoak is able to offer farm visits to children, students and individual parties of all ages, and trips can be tailored to suit the needs of the visiting party. (Please note however that Roundoak is a serious operation and not a 'play farm', and welcomes all groups and individuals who have a genuine interest in the Farms activities, especially with regards to the Farm's involvement in Conservation Grazing, and with regards to the Farm's Rare Breeds. Anyone interested in finding out more about our trips can contact the farm office on 01622 844491, and are welcome to arrange a visit to the Farm.

what next in 2017

The Roundoak website and Facebook page continue to grow and we very much hope that all of our visitors and friends of Roundoak enjoy our brief newsletters, which we will continue through 2017. All the events of 2016 and previous years are well documented on these, and are hopefully of interest to our friends. There are some interesting stories - including the visit to the farm by the Cinque Port Morris Men, when our Highlanders were used in an advertising campaign, and that a few years ago our sheep were featured in the Ewan McGregor film Jack and he Giant Killer! 

We look forward to seeing the results of diversifying our animals, and also of our plans to further develop our sister farm at Ulcombe. 

Roundoak is definitely planning to host an open day in 2017 - we are unsure as to whether or not this will be associated with Open Farm Sunday or independent, but will let you know the details in due course. We will of course keep our friends updated with regards to all this, and any planned events in 2017 via our website, facebook and newsletters.

The farm is always open to guests wishing to see the cattle and sheep - via prior appointment. With the lead up to Christmas and the New Year, please see that the Farm does have its own produce of beef, pork and lamb available. 

Who knows what else 2017 will bring! 

norman and ruth and all the staff at the farm would like to take this opportunity of wishing everybody a very happy christmas and a prosperous new year!

ROUNDOAK AUTUMN NEWSLETTER 2016

There have been several new arrivals at Roundoak this summer!

'The Captain' arrives at Roundoak!


As a result of the expansion of Roundoak's Sussex cattle, they have acquired the help of 'The Captain', a two year old pedigree bull bought from the well known Mayfield herd in Sussex.  The bull was collected from the Oxted and
Edenbridge show, where he obtained a first prize and was Reserve Overall Breed Champion!

Roundoak are also well known for their two herds of Highland cattle, which are seen all around the county conservation grazing.

Sasha!


Sasha, a ten week old Border Collie has also joined the team.  She will be trained under the masterful eye of Finn the farm's eight year old Border Collie.  The puppy has settled in well and is adored by everyone she meets!

Finn!


A Busy Summer at Roundoak!

It has been a very busy summer at Roundoak with record numbers of visitors to the farm.  The farm is now set for autumn and winter with the hay and silage having been gathered.  The only thing that the farm desperately needs is rain for grass growth during the winter.  Roundoak's sister farm at Ulcombe continues to grow, and is now connected with three phase power and water.  The farm has also had some caravan hook up points installed and we hope to open a new caravan site there in spring of 2017.

             

Conservation Grazing

It has been an incredibly successful year with our partners and the conservation grazing continues to grow.  Roundoak with its Highland cattle and Hebridean sheep continue to work with the Kent Wildlife Trust, Medway Valley Countryside Partnership, Kent County Council and Ashford Borough Council to name but a few.  We also graze for semiprivate land owners around the county.  It is hoped that the new herd of Sussex cattle will assist and continue to grow this project.


Roundoak Produce

The farm continues to expand the sale of meat from the Highland and Sussex cattle, lamb from the Hebridean sheep and also pork including sausages and bacon from the pigs.


Visitors to the farm are welcome by prior appointment please contact Norman or Ruth on 01622 844491.

A busy time on the farm!

It has been a really busy month, and there have been considerable changes on the Farm.  We have  also welcomed two new members of staff!

Roundoak would like to welcome Nathan McKenzie to the team.   Nathan joins us from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland.  Nathan has been brought up in a farming background and has extensive experience in all areas of farming life, livestock and machinery.

We also welcome Laura Fleming, who will be working part-time in the farm office as PA to Norman Coles.  Laura originally worked as a Social Worker but has joined the team, and works around looking after her three small children! 

There have been several events at the Farm this month.

Roundoak was delighted to welcome our conservation grazing partners to lunch under the trees. The weather was unusually kind and we were able to enjoy lunch in the dappled sunlight of our unique five acre woodland area!

   

We were very excited to hold our first ever Clay Pigeon shoot at our sister farm Kingsnorth - even one year old Jack enjoyed the event.

                   

 Upcoming Events:
Roundoak is also delighted to welcome The Loose Women Morris Dancers who will be performing alongside guests - The Cinque Port Morris Men and The Screaming Banshees.  
Dancing will start at 8:00pm on the 14th July outside the barn at the Farm. 
Everyone welcome!
(Please do let us know in advance if you are planning to come.)

Spring comes to roundoak

Spring has finally arrived at Roundoak Farm after a very wet miserable winter, and thanks to the April winds and the May sunshine the ground is finally drying out.  Lambing is now all but over with a good success rate for all breeds – the Hebrideans, the North Ronaldsays and Borerays. 

Spring Conservation Grazing

Once again Roundoak, and its some 140 highland cattle and 500 Hebridean sheep, are engaged in conservation grazing throughout the County for Kent Wildlife Trust Medway Valley and Conservation Trust Loose Valley Amenity Trust to name but a few.  The animals’ conservation qualities are of immense importance to the ecology of certain sites looked after by these conservation organisations.  Most of the animals are now leaving their winter home at Roundoak at Sutton Valence and our sister farm at Kingsnorth Manor at Ulcombe for these various projects.

New Grazing At Barming

Roundoak have been engaged to graze the Medway river bank from Barming to Teston for a private land owner and also Teston Parish Council.  It is proposed that part will be grazed by Highlands and the remainder by Sussex. 

First SusseX Calf at roundoak

Roundoak are pleased to welcome their first Sussex heffer into the world.  The calf is one of a number expected in the next few weeks, and compliments the existing herd of some 25 cows introduced to the farm last year. 

Happy Birthday Jack!

Jack Payne was also welcomed into the world a year ago, and will be celebrating his 1st birthday on 20th June.  Jack is a new generation to the family and is already showing great interest in the animals and the machines!

Events:

Roundoak is also delighted to welcome The Cinque Port Morris Men to dance outside the barn at the farm on 14th July at 7:30pm.

Roundoak Family Fun Day was a big success

We are so pleased with the outcome of our Family Fun Day that was held on 30 March 2016 to show the public a little about Roundoak.  We had baby lambs that the children could pet.  Newly born calves, pigs and chickens that roamed the farm yard. Ruth as also did a brilliant job supplying refreshments as well as Roundoak Sausages.  

We were a little worried that the weather would not be great after storm Katie but what a lovely sunny day to show of the beauty of the farm. 

   

   

   

   

Busy easter at Roundoak

Easter weekend proved a busy time at Roundoak farm, which is home to to some 130 Highland Cows and over 500 Hebridean sheep.  Four calves were born and lambing is gettingunderway wih the first lambs being born.

    

  

    

Roundoak and the coles group have a day at the races!

Roundoak together with the Coles Group attended Charing Point to Point onm Easter Saturday.  Although the weather was a little disappointing a good time was had by all guests and staff.  Ruth prepared a superb buffet lunch with Roundoak lamb curry and roundoak Highland beef lasagne.  Despite not winning on the horses the food was a definite winner!

   

   

   

roundoak supply rare breed boreray, north ronaldsay sheep and highland cows to Cholderton Charlie's Farm

Roundoak with its largest flock of Hebridean sheep, rare breed Borerays and North Ronaldsay sheep were approched by Cholderton Charlie's Farm in Wiltshire to supply them with a North Ronaldsay ram and a Boreray ewe to add to their own collection of rare breeds.  The animals were delivered to the farm several weeks ago.  As a result of the dialog during the visit, Roundoak were asked by Cholderton Charlie's Farm if it would be possible to have several Highland calves especially for visitors to see over the Easter weekend.  The calves were delivered on the Wednesday before Easter and have proved to be very popular with visitors.  The calves are on loan from Roundoak and likely to stay on the farm throughout the Summer.  It is hoped that the relationship between Roundoak and Cholderton Charlie's Farm will continue in the future.

         

         

Rare breed animals visit marden primary school

It was a very special day for the younger pupils of Marden Primary School, when rare breed animals from Roundaok farm visted the school.  The pupils were introduced to some of the animals such as Gloucester old spot piglets, sheep including rare breed Hebrideans and North Ronaldsays.  There were also som e three-week-old chicks that were hatched at the farm.

The farms working Cocker Spaniels Millie, Sally and Scruff also attended and were a huge hit with the pupils.

This outing for the animals was a first for the farm which specialises in rare breeds.  Many of the farms animals are a familiar sight around Maidstone and the Mid Kent area as they are used on many conservation grazing projects.

The farm used its John Deere tractor and Land Rovers to pull trailers which were set up in the school playground.  Children were brought out in groups to look at the animals, feed them and ask questions.  They all very much enjoyed sitting in the tractor.

The farms owner Norman Coles was there assisted by Tom Wilson and Richard Wise who work at the farm which is based in Sutton Valence.  The farm is home to some 120 Highland cows and over 550 Hebridean Sheep, as well as Boreray and North Ronaldsay Sheep.  The farm also has a gloucester old spot pig and piglet.

This workshop and road trip to Marden Primary School was a first for the farm and proved a great success, both for the school and Roundoak farm in promoting farming awareness amongst the youngsters and spotlighting the rare breeds and where our food comes from.

There are further school visits planned in the New Year.  As popular as this visit has proved it also alleviates some of the stringent health and safety issues that face schools these days when planning school trips.

   

Braemar Highland games

Norman and Ruth have once again returned to scotland this September and were invited as guest to the braemar highland games.  They spent the week and visitied Dochy Ormiston who is the head stockman at Balmoral Castle.  Norman and Ruth were shown the many Bulls, cows and calves bred at the castle.  It was a wonderful day out and the Queen and her family were in residents as during the week she was opening the new border Railway.

FinN joins the roundoak team

Finn an 8-year-old Border collie has joined the Roundoak team.  Fin is a working dog who's previous owners were looking for a new home for him.  Roundoak farm with its variety of rare breed sheep were looking for an experienced dog.  Fin has an excellent breed line and comes from working stock.  He is a very needed asset to the farm which has grown over the last few years.  Visitors to Roundoak will see Fin who is a very friendly dog and now a familiar site around the yard.

Henry coles does abstract art at roundoak

Henry Coles the great nephew of Norman Coles spent two weeks in August 2015 on Holiday from Germany at Roundoak Farm.  Whilst Henry helped with general duties he also spent sometime doing some abstract art.  His vision and concept had not been seen before and you can see some of his interesting drawings below.  Henry has now returned to Germany where he lives and is due to commence a new career in Carpentry.  All at Roundoak wish him well, and we hope that he will find time to continue with his art.

   

   

Roundoak welcomes baby jack, the lastest addition to Roundoak

Norman and Ruth are pleased to welcome baby Jack into the family.  On the 20th June 2015 Norman's youngest daughter Sophie gave birth to the gorgeous bundle of joy and Norman is already preparing him for farm life.

roundoak welcomes tom wilson

Due to the continued expansion of Roundoak's activities especially with regard to conservation grazing we have had to take on extra staff and the farm has welcomed Tom Wilson.  Tom has a broad experience in the farming world and has many contacts.  He has had a variety of jobs since leaving University.  He has also been involved in both Arable and Livestock farming.  He has also spent time with FGS based at Pluckley.

Hay making

Winter feed all in.  Last week, one of the hottest weeks allowed Roundoak and her sister farm time to complete the grass harvest.

Sussex Cows arrive at Roundoak

 

 

Roundoak farm based at Sutton Valence is one of Maidstones best kept secrets.  The farm is home to one of the largest flocks of Hebredean Sheep in the UK numbering over 500 and some 90 plus Highland Cows. These unique animals are used in conjunction with conservation grazing around central Kent for such groups as Kent Wildlife Trust, Loose Valley amenities association, Medway Valley Countryside Partnership, Teston Parish Council, Kent County Council to name but a few, In locations such as Teston Country park, Hothfield Common and Bidbury wood Canterbury.

 A small heard of 18 Sussex cattle have been acquired to compliment the stock. It is commonly agreed that Sussex cattle are one of our oldest breeds, having inhabited the Weald of Sussex and Kent from time immemorial. The Sussex has many of the characteristics of the other rare breeds at Roundoak, maternal breed traits of calving, milkiness, temperament and the ability to thrive on a low input/extensive system of management.

The heard will be used in the farms conservation grazing programme.

Roundoak welcomes visitors by prior appointment and supply’s local butchers and the public with its own Beef, Lamb and pork.

The farm can be contacted on 01622 844491.

roundoak featured in caravan club magazine

roundoak highland featured in aberdeen asset management advert after photo shoot at the farm

roundoak hebridean sheep graze hothfield heathland for kent wildlife trust

   

   

WATCHLIST 2015