Farming in Tandridge: the lay of the land

Those of you who read my column last month will remember me saying that I was a farmer’s daughter.

With a background in farming, I often find myself working with a lot of agricultural clients. So, from time to time, I’ll be sharing some of their farming news, to give you more of an insight into what’s going on in the agricultural sector in Tandridge.

Beautiful Tandridge

I grew up on a dairy and arable farm in Staffordshire (not too far from Birmingham), and although I’m a Midlander through and through, I feel very lucky to now live in such a beautiful part of the world. Those of us living in the towns and villages of Tandridge are never too far away from open fields, country walks and, of course, the stunning views of the Surrey Hills.

You might not always see the farmers when you’re out and about in the countryside but, according to East Surrey National Farmer’s Union, there are around 700 people employed in farming across Tandridge District.

The Oxted and Edenbridge Agricultural Show

Many of the farmers here are arable, beef and sheep farmers, with about 6,000 cattle grazing the lands in this area, along with 13,000 sheep. We’ve also got a small number of dairy farmers, and a few pig and poultry producers too.

A variety of crops

In Tandridge, the most commonly farmed crops are winter wheat (used to make flour for yeast breads), and barley (used as food grain, natural sweetener and for brewing beer!).

Horticulturally, we’ve got a few soft fruit farmers, growing anything from strawberries and raspberries to plums and cherries.

And, with a large equine presence in Lingfield, many farmers also grow small bale hay and haylage for individual horse keepers, livery yards and racing outfits.

A transforming landscape

The farming landscape changes all the time, and this is because it is dependent on so many things – the weather being the main one! But, development of the environment that surrounds our farms, what’s happening to the economy, and alterations to government policy can also affect what we farm. Oilseed rape, for example, is one crop that used to be farmed in this area but has seen a huge decline due to the phasing out of neonictinoid seed dressings, used to stop the cabbage stem flea beetle from damaging the crops.

The Agricultural Show

In Tandridge you’re never far from a country walk, farm shop or farm attraction to visit, and every August bank holiday there’s the Edenbridge & Oxted Agricultural Show. As one of the oldest traditional agricultural shows in the country (over 180 years old!), it is a must-attend event for anyone interested in learning more about farming and food production.

Hopefully, by reading this you’ve now got a better understanding of what’s farmed in Tandridge, but if you are a farmer, or you know of any farmers locally that have a story to tell, then be sure to get in touch. I would love to hear what you have to say, and I think our readers would too!

Emily Davies has more than 15 years’ experience in broadcasting, journalism and digital content marketing, working with big household names. Through EmPower media she helps local, rural and agricultural businesses and individuals bring their story to life through digital storytelling. Contact her by emailing or find her on Instagram.

Emily DaviesEmPower media


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