The Farm

Acres Down Farm

Acres Down Farm is a busy, New Forest Commoner's working farm depasturing animals according to the ancient rights of the New Forest keeping beef cattle, pigs, sheep and chickens. It is 1 mile on the western side of the village of Minstead which is 2 1/2 miles from Lyndhurst. The village has a pub and medieval church of interest. 

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The farm opens directly on to the 900 year old Royal Hunting Forest now known as the New Forest National Park, where the beautiful countryside can be explored on foot or by bicycle. 

We are also a mecca for bird watchers. picture

The History of the farm

"Kate Newman, my Grandmother bought Acres Down Farm, Robins Bush, and Brick-Kiln Farm in 1947, when part of the old Minstead Manor Estate was sold off. She re-sold Brick-Kiln Farm where all the bricks for the estate buildings were made from the clay in the valley and the sand from less than a few hundred yards away - see all the old houses made of the red brick on the farm and in the village. She gave Robins Bush farm to her son Alfred and Acres Down farm to my father Jack. He made improvements to the land including reclaiming 50 acres from what had been a fir plantation burnt down during WW2 (Enemy planes tended to jettison bombs which they hadn't been able to drop over Southampton docks in the forest on their return loop home). 

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On my return to the family farm with my own family in the early 70's, when the new farm house was build, I diversified into the tourist trade, firstly with B&B and then Cream Tea Garden and then continued with the caravan and camping enterprise. After my father's death, I carried on farming and now besides the holding of 37 acres and another 60 acres (part of Minstead Manor Estate) which I rent, I use the Commom Rights which are attached to the farm to gaze my growing suckler cows on the forest. They produce a calf a year which grows quickly as each calf takes all its mother's milk; they are weaned at 6-8 months then reared for the production of prime beef. I also keep a small flock of breeding sheep, which produce a crop of lambs each year, some store pigs and my daughter Wendy has a flock of 50 hens, which produce the eggs for breakfast, cake making and for selling in the shop. 

Now some of the my children have returned to the farm after seeing the world and are working hard at their own business enterprises, including our newly re-furbished farm shop, Thatching and the growing camping and tearoom business."

Annie Cooper