Located in the Bowland Fells in Bleasdale, Farm on the Fell is a dairy farm that does dairy differently. They farm as naturally as possible, as they believe farming should work with nature and not against it.
The farm is home to a cow with calf dairy, where the cows get to rear their own calves from birth. The cows only ever eat a natural diet of pasture and forage for their entire lives. They are not feed any grain. Milk from cows fed a 100% pasture diet has higher levels of desirable Omega 3, higher vitamin and mineral levels particularly vitamin A and E, and lower levels of undesirable omega 6
The milk from the cows is gently pasteurised and sold direct from the on farm milk vending machine, which also serves a range of milkshake flavours.
The delicious fresh milk is also used to make artisan gelato in their on farm processing room, which can enjoyed on the farm while taking in the spectacular views of this area of outstanding natural beauty. Customers can also enjoy their favourite flavours at home, with take home tubs available.
Big Blindhurst Farm, Bleasdale, Preston, PR3 1UT07720290045
Deep in the heart of the Forest Bowland’s famed ‘Lancashire cheese triangle’, a traditional dairy farming family are ploughing their own furrow by producing a distinctive artisan gin with deep roots in the local landscape
Founded in 2019 as part of a farm diversification scheme, Wild Fox distillery has gone from strength to strength, winning the title of best rural drink business in the 2021 Rural Business Awards.
Established by fourth generation Lancashire farmers Rob and Lizzie Billington, the distillery draws pure, fresh water from its own bore hole and features subtle flavours from wild herbs foraged among the farm’s hedgerows for an authentic ‘farm-to-bottle’ product.
Lizzie’s career in new product development, instilled a real passion for creating new products which kept ‘real produce’ at the heart of each new line.
When the couple decided to diversify, Lizzie started exploring what the farm naturally had growing within the fields and hedgerows and combined with fruits and leaves from the orchard. She then purchased a small table top still and began experimenting. After trialling 47 recipes, they were happy they had a product worth sharing with world.
The range now extends to four gins plus seasonal specials including Ivy’s Signature Gin, Blushing Vixen and Twelve Bore – a spicy winter warmer flavoured with orange zest and ginger and bottled at a potent 45% proof!
Rob and Lizzie’s family has been associated with dairy farming and cheese making in Lancashire since 1932.
“For as long as I can remember, a G&T was the staple after-work tipple,” said Lizzie. “Once they’d finished the evening milking, mum and dad used to relax with a gin and tonic. It wasn’t trendy and there weren’t hundreds to choose from, it was simply a high-quality spirit enjoyed with tonic, ice and a slice.”
Alongside farming, Rob’s passion for agricultural engineering has come in handy for maintaining Ivy, the 50-litre copper column still which produces their gin.
Ivy now takes pride of place in a purpose-built distillery and café on the farm which nestles in the shadow of the Bowland Fells in the heart of Lancashire’s rich dairy farming pastureland.
The café welcomes visitors to watch Lizzie and colleagues making the gin and enjoy coffee and home-baked cakes – along with the occasional sample of the latest fruits of their labours.
The Wild Fox Distillery and café is open to the public Wednesday – Friday from 10am – 5pm and on Saturdays from 10am – 3pm for coffee, cake, gin tasting and nibbles. To reserve a table, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01995 641136.
For special events and tastings, visit the website: wildfoxdistillery.co.uk or follow Wild Fox on social media.
Why not combine your visit with a walk, developed in partnership with the Forest of Bowland AONB:
Wild Fox Distillery to Beacon Fell Circular: www.forestofbowland.com/walking#800625304
Wild Fox Distillery to Brock Bottoms Circular: www.forestofbowland.com/walking#801401612