Father and son Phil and Steve Hook farm Longleys Farm organically. They have been in partnership together at Longleys Farm Hailsham since 1991.
Farming is in their blood, the Hook family have been farming in East Sussex for at least 250 years! We farm 180 acres just north of Hailsham, and on the very western edge of the Pevensey Levels Site of Special Scientific Interest (S.S.S.I.)
The organic methods of farming that we use work in harmony with maintaining and enhancing this important and wonderful local ecology. Our farm is teeming with a wide variety of flora and fauna. A recent RSPB species survey found 45 different species of native birds, including eight species whose status is category red (declined by more than 50% over the last 25 years), and nine species that have declined by 25-49% over the same period (category amber).
The farm is an all grass farm, most of which is permanent pasture on the land on the Pevensey Levels. On the upper western side of the farm, grass leys that are rich in red and white clover are grown. The cows graze all these fields once the ground is dry enough ‘to turn them out’ in the spring, until the ground becomes too wet in the autumn. The cows are then housed indoors for the winter. They are fed our homemade, organic grass silage in the winter that has been made from lush spring grass and clover. An organic mix of sunflower, linseed, pea, bean and molasses is also fed to the cows to supplement their grass diet.
We have also diversified into growing cricket bat willow (salix alba) to help sustain our farming business.