food as a byproduct of conservation
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For over 20 years we have been providing herbicide, pesticide and fertiliser free, genuinely, 100%, grassfed meat. Our pioneering, gentle farming techniques came to the attention of Natural England and we are now honoured to be trusted looking after the uniquely intact unimproved grassland of the Lower Derwent Valley in Yorkshire - 97% of this habitat has been lost, please help us continue to preserve it. We rely on our customers as we receive no outside funding - this is a genuinly exciting conservation model - become a part of it today!
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The Rose family's farming story begins in the 1870s with Joseph Taylor Rose, a shepherd of Swinefleet, on the opposite side to the river Ouse to us today. His son Richard Rose (pictured above) became a slaughterman, working for the renowned J. W. Gould of Hull. He set up his own farm, Ings Farm, on the very banks of the river Hull in partnership with a man known as 'Boss' - Thomas Smedley. Unfortunately, times were hard and they had to downsize to the neighbouring Gibraltar Farm in 1926 when 'Boss' was declared bankrupt. Richard continued to work as a slaughterman while his son Frank and 'Boss' ran the farm, delivering eggs and milk to Hull via horse and cart for the next 40 years. The business became F. Rose & Sons to include Frank's children, but it was not to last as both Ings and Gibraltar Farm were sold by the landlords to make way for what is now the Kingswood Shopping Centre in Hull! This prompted the move to our current area near Aughton, and the farm at Aughton Ruddings Grange was the home of Robert and Paul's goats and poultry, which gave them their own start in farming. Determined to seek new markets and new, more sustainable methods, Robert and Paul struck out on their own, taking the radical step of pinning their hopes on the smallest native cattle breed - the Irish Dexter. The herd was started in 1996 with 'Foulrice Sprite' and although it's true that the conventional farming market has no place for Dexters, these tiny cattle offered many benefits to fledgling farmers taking on the roughest grazing that needed the most delicate touch, since most of our land is internationally recognised (RAMSAR) wetland and/or SSSI (site of special scientific interest). The herd was entirely grassfed from the start, but when Rob heard Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm on the radio talking about his pioneering grazing system, he couldn't wait to try it and Paul agreed. It's thought that Rosewood was the first farm in the UK to implement this system on a commercial basis in 2002 upon the purchase of the rosewood home site where you can find us today!
Paul with first cow Sprite in 1996
Rob is a man truly of few (spoken...he's happy typing) words, with a core of pure steel. Nothing and no one could ever come between him and his Dexter cows, on his mission to produce sustainable food for human and cowkind. Born and raised in the area, Rob knows these marshes intimately and is proud to play a pivotal role in their conservation.
No grazing/marsh related topic is too dull for Rob and he can often be found indulging a favourite hobby - poking around in ditches with a spade to identify drainage issues. It's the often overlooked details like that that can make the difference between the success or failure of a project or landscape though so if you need further information, just ask Rob.
Paul is our legendary 'scrapwizard'. Running a farm this size on as little horsepower and diesel as possible is a specialist skill, and keeping old, small machinery running so we don't overhorsepower jobs for no reason is no small part of it. Unrelentingly practical, Paul knows everything there is to know about keeping things going, powered, drained, upright and so on. Don't think he's only useful with inanimate objects, though. He's also a bona fide animal whisperer. Stock of all kinds respond well to his quiet demeanor and Paul somehow gets away with things other humans would come away with giant bite and kick marks from.
Married to Rob, Natalie is the newest addition to the team, although she's been around a number of years now really! She is Head of Sheep; passionate about producing clean, quality, chemical-free wool and mutton that's like a tasteparty in your mouth, full of all the goodness of the ancient herbalicious pastures the sheep graze on.
She's also chief pony wrangler and oxen teamster. Always fascinated by the relationship between people and animals, she is currently studying for a Masters in Anthrozoology on top of everything else! Energetic and indomitable, brave and possibly a little eccentric, Nat drives us forward.