Jack and Jenny Woodford have run the farm since 1979 when Jack took over the tenancy from his father George. Now approaching 75, Jack has retired and handed on the tenancy of the 668-acre beef and arable farm to their son Michael.
The Woodfords’ association with the farm goes way back before Ernest Cook’s ownership. “My grandfather started farming here in around 1900 after he returned from the Boer War, and my father moved here to take the tenancy in 1938,” said Jack.
“It’s fantastic that Michael can continue that line – not many farmers’ sons seem that keen to carry on these days.”
Michael, 34, became a partner in the farm three years ago and took over the tenancy in September. “It’s quite daunting, but things will carry on pretty much the same as they have been,” he said. “It’s a gradual thing really – Dad will still play a big part in the farm.”
ECT’s Chief Executive Nicholas Ford said: “We’re very proud of this continuity and trend of family succession among our farmers, many of whom are second or third generation. We wish Michael and family all the best for the future.”