This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
ASHDON RISES
FROM THE ASHES
After a few years of uncertainty arising from the loss of two
of their biggest supporters, the Ashdon herd has re-emerged bigger
and better than ever. Alison Maddrell visited and found herself
impressed by the quality of cow care
LEFT The team at Ashdon, from
left, Alison French, Hayden Read,
Alan ‘Speedy’ Read, Manager
Bobby French and James Brinkley.
‘throw their stones at them
instead of him’!
Edmund Vestey was known as
a stockman. As Bobby recalls, he
was passionate about ‘horses,
hounds and cows’, and indeed
there remains a point-to-point
course on the estate as well as
a 50 head beef suckler herd.
Mr Vestey made the decision
to establish milk production
on the estate 50 years ago and
introduced a herd of Red British
Friesians. Distinctly unpopular
at the time, the Red colour was
phased out but there are still
S
traddling the three counties of Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire, Thur-
thriving, modern families today
low Estate extends to 12,000 acres of prime East Anglian arable land. At
descending from the original
one end of this vast expanse of beautiful countryside owned by the Vestey
bloodlines. A gentleman through
family lies the self-contained business unit of Ashdon Holsteins. Established
and through, all estate staff were
in 1959 by the late Edmund Vestey, the 210 acres surrounding Newnham Hall
(and still are) treated to a harvest
Farm lie at the bottom of a valley across the Essex/Suffolk border outside Saf-
supper every year with around
fron Walden. After the death of Mr Vestey two years ago, responsibility for
100 people enjoying great food,
the estate passed to his four sons and it is the enthusiasm of Robin that has
wine and entertainment and a
reinvigorated the operation and ensured that Mr Vestey’s legacy of well bred
particular annual treat was a trip
families managed on an individual basis within a simple, cow friendly system
to the panto every year for all
is now celebrating its half centenary in style.
wives and children.
Manager Bobby French has been with the Ashdon herd for 20 years
The most significant change
to occur in recent times was
and heads up the full time team of three including his number two, Alan
the arrival of the late John
‘Speedy’ Read, who shares the milking and the yard work and James Brinkley
Copland in 1990, formerly of
who is responsible for the 120 youngstock and feeding the 180 milkers.
Strutt and Parker’s Lavenham
And they are doing their job well. After the dissolution of the Essex & Herts
herd (Bobby started his cow
Holstein Club, the long time ties with Suffolk County and the fact that a
career at Terling, born 100
proportion of the grassland extends over the border meant the herd were
metres behind the yard). On
eligible to transfer to the Suffolk Club. In 2007 the Ashdon herd entered
retirement, John moved down to
into the Herd competition and Thurlow Estates came out as overall winners
Newnham Hall Farm (where Mrs
with top Elite Cow, homebred heifer and second place cow family, progeny
Copland still lives) and became
group and second highest income earner. In 2008 however, they took every
the herd’s breeding advisor
title. Bobby took the team to the prize giving asking them to share the
working alongside the team
responsibility of accepting the silverware so other Suffolk members could
and Mr Vestey. With Bobby and
John’s combined knowledge
22 THE JOURNAL JUNE 2009
e3-09 Ashdon.indd 2 27/05/2009 08:55:54
Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88
Produced with Yudu - www.yudu.com