The Glympton Park Estate lies within the boundary of the Forest of Wychwood on the edge of the Cotswolds and gets its name from the hamlet on the River Glyme. The history of the Estate goes back to c.1122 when it was originally used as a sporting estate. Glympton has been farmed as a traditional mixed farm since 1663 when the meadows and pasture belonging to the manor were originally enclosed, much as they are today.
Since 1663 the Estate has grown considerably to just under 3,000 acres. The farming policies which are practised today are not dissimilar to the 17th century: cereal crops, a (dry) sheep flock, a suckler beef herd and a herd of Pedigree Aberdeen Angus. Although the arable operation is intensively farmed, the livestock enterprises make use of very extensive grazing, primarily along the River Glyme, which is not fertilised or sprayed. The grassland acts as a buffer for the river, which is an Upper Thames Tributary, and all of the grazing fields are fenced off from the river to protect the natural habitat the river provides.
There are a further 12 acres of arable land that have been converted into grass margins or ‘buffer strips’. There is a further 60 acres of arable land that is dedicated to small seeded bird mixtures, pollen and nectar mixes for the bumble bees and Lapwing plots to try to increase the bio-diversity on the estate.
The Estate is also home to an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) called Sheep Banks and an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) – called Worcester Hill. These are surrounded by intesively farmed arable fields which have grass margins to protect the ancient mix of grasses in the fields next to them.
The woodland areas of the Estate are all managed to produce good stands of quality timber. The thinnings are stored and processed to produce firewood for sale. Nearly all of the fields have hedges or plantations around them providing a wonderful habitat for small birds and mammals as well as contributing to the ‘patchwork’ beauty of the Cotswold countryside.