North Hill Farms Ltd

North Hill Farms Ltd came into being in 1972 and has been a tenant of the Wilton Estate since that time. Today, the farming company manages 1,200 Ha’s in hand comprising of 900 Ha arable land and 300 Ha of permanent pasture. A further 180 Ha of arable land has been farmed for a local land owner since 1994 under a formal contract agreement.

The farming company is both a progressive and commercial business operating within a 3 mile radius of the town of Wilton and currently employs a working farm manager, farm supervisor and two arable operators.

At the present time the company operates a simple 3 course crop rotation split equally between oilseed rape, winter wheat and both winter and spring barley. It is anticipated that this rotation will be extended in the near future with the introduction of additional break crops under one of the recently announced government initiatives.

In line with many others in the industry at the present time North Hill Farms Ltd is striving to reduce its impact on the environment by introducing practices such as direct drilling (establishing crops with no prior cultivation), and increasing the area of cover crops grown which helps to both maintain soil structure and improve soil organic matter as well as retaining valuable nutrients.

Capital investment has been considerable in recent years as the business strives to keep pace with technology, meeting production and quality standards targets, whilst competing in a volatile market place.

The business currently operates machinery manufactured by Claas, Fendt, Amazone, Massey Ferguson and Horsch all sourced from local dealerships in Wiltshire and surrounding counties. Much of the machinery used on the farm today benefit from satellite guidance, GPS, which leads to greater accuracy of the application of fertilizers and pesticides, increased efficiency and reduced operator fatigue.

The farm has participated in the government backed Higher Level Scheme since 2010 and recently extended this agreement to 2029. North Hill Farms Ltd is also a founder member of the recently formed Wilton Farmers’ Cluster group that brings local land managers together with a common goal of identifying areas where the wider local environment could be enhanced to the benefit of all.  The group meets 3-4 times a year to discuss topical subjects such as hedgerow and tree management, wildlife monitoring and recording and habitat creation amongst many other environmental topics.

Download: Wilton Farmers Cluster Newsletter Winter 2023-24

Of the 300 Ha of grassland within its tenancy North Hill Farms Ltd has some 210 Hectares of grassland directly under its control with a further 90 Hectares let on a grazing agreement with a local sheep producer. Much of the grassland can be found in the historic Wilton Park, which forms part of the wider grounds of Wilton House but also extends to the valleys of both the Nadder and Wylye rivers. Since 2009 the herd has been managed by a third party to enable North Hill Farms Ltd to concentrate on its core arable business.