Farming has been an integral part of life in Lambourn since Neolithic times. Originally the downland and countryside surrounding Lambourn would have been heavily wooded. The early farmers used clearings and small patches of open land to plant their basic crops. Gradually the trees have been removed in order to create the countryside we see today. This created fields separated by hedgerows and interspersed by small copses of wood.
Despite the relatively thin layer of top soil which lies above the chalk, it is possible to grow a large number of different cereal crops. Wheat, barley and oilseed rape are amongst the most popular crops planted in the Lambourn Valley.
Many fields turned to grass and are used to support flocks of sheep, and animal ideally suited to the well-drained downland soils.
Farming ventures such as Sheepdrove Organic Farm have introduced but the production of poultry and rare breed pigs to the area.
Throughout the last hundred years farming in the Lambourn Valley has coexisted with the racing industry, sharing paths, tracks and land in a spirit of collaboration of two land-based industries both critical to the industry and employment in the Lambourn Valley.
Harvest Time - Lambourn - Henry Parker
To find out more about farming in Lambourn and in particular the land use, click HERE to be transferred to the government website which allows you navigate an interactive map of England showing land use, field boundaries, protected areas and much more.