WINSHAM PARISH FARMING-Back to Earth
1985-2003

The effect that over-production, since the War, had on the farming community was rather like engaging reverse gear when going fast-forward. Except for some cereals, no commodity was ever over produced for home consumption here, but by joining the European Union,  we shared their surpluses. The existing system had been changed. All this in a world where half the population were starving. The farming difficulties were also compounded by the outbreaks of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis) and Foot & Mouth disease . Winsham farming is changing.

For the connoisseur it takes about ten minutes in a light aircraft out of Dunkeswell Airfield (Honiton) and flying at above 500 ft.  to circle the boundaries and bisect the whole Parish of Winsham.

Winsham is clearly seen as a Parish of small fields (few above twenty acres) and even fewer that are really flat. Woodland (copses, coppices, spinneys, woods, covers and hummocks) are richly sprinkled over the undulating landscape indicating its parkland and sporting origins. and the small mixed enterprise policy which formed its farming base.

To try to ease matters and preserve the ethics and viability of the countryside the Government has now introduced subsidies for 'Set Aside' (unused) land and 'Stewardship' (pro wildlife) policies. There is also limited help to set up 'organic' farming and 'farm shops'. Many believe that not being near a city or on a high-grade soil these changes are not feasible at the moment. Indeed diversification usually requires much extra capital. Many facilities are already offered on the Cricket Estate. Even there, three out of four dairy herds have closed down.

The map shows how agricultural land is currently used in the Parish. For the sake of record the key also gives the names of people who have been associated with the farms, for the most part over the twentieth century. Each Farm has its own history, and in many cases more information can be obtained from the Businesses section of the Millennium Book. In the table below, where further information is available, the name of the farm appears in  light blue. Click on the name and a link will take you into the appropriate entry in the Millennium Book. If a name associated with the Farm appears in light blue, clicking on

of the Museum.

Many farms have now given up dairying in favour of grazing (sheep, young stock, bullocks, horses) and baled silage. Farms are splitting or getting larger and young people - workers or sons - are becoming a rarity. Villagers this year are missing the baby lambs that are usually born in the mid village small fields.

For detailed maps  go to Google Earth. For more information, click on the names of those farms whose names appear in a lighter blue  the name will take you to other relevant parts

Key

Farm Name

Names associated with farm

1

Windwhistle  Sawyer, Smith, Churchill

2

Higher Purtington Whitehead

3

Lower Purtington Snell, Sweeting, Forward

4

Purtington Farm Wyatt, Corr

5

Lue Pile,  Conachie

6

Puthill Cricket Estate

7

Greencombe Warren,  Rose

8

Midnell  Pile, Warry,  Conachie

9

Hey Dommett, Wheaton-Smith, Bullivant

10

Broadenham Cull, Smith

11

Limekiln Warry

12

Conservation Nursery Peacock, YSJ Seeds,

13

Fields in village

14

Bridge Farm Loveluck,Goddard

15

Marshwood(now outside Parish) Scriven,  Down, Glanville

16

Oakleigh Earl

17

Street Perham, Lawley, Hebditch

18

Whatley Hammett, Smith

19

East Whatley Spence, Goodlett
Harmes,Hebditch

20

Leigh House Farm Scott

21

Leigh Dairy Farm Cunliffe


Winsham is a prize-winning village of dynamism and change. Its farmers are ever optimists for a healthy agriculture that is the basis of a beautiful countryside. .


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This page revised 25 January 2016