“Everything at Low Sizergh Barn, from the entrancing wildflower meadow in the car park, to the farm shop full of sumptuous local produce, exemplifies the Park family’s philosophy that a properly run farm can enrich the lives and environment of the whole community.”
Home Grown: Food Champions of England’s Northwest, Deirdre Morley p. 355
A family farm
Five members of the family run the businesses at Low Sizergh Farm. Mum Marjorie and daughter Alison can be found running the farm shop, gift and craft galleries and tearoom, whilst son Richard runs the farm with his wife Judith. Dad John jokes that he’s now the farm boy sent to run all the errands. More than 50 local people are employed.
We farm with the future in mind, looking after the soil, the landscape and wildlife whilst being part of a vibrant rural economy. Our main crop is the grass that the cows eat all year round which helps them produce milk that we sell to a local dairy and to other a cheese and ice cream maker.
More than 40 businesses and providers of services within a 50 mile radius support the day to day running of the farm. Our farm shop is a market place for over 80 local suppliers, from big names (locally anyway!) to local growers who trade their surplus crops at harvest time.
We are proud to have the social enterprise Growing Well on site; their organic vegetables and salads are available through a crop share scheme, in the farm shop and in the tea room, where mixed leaves make up the most deliciously fresh salad.
(image copyright Michael Lishman)
We are aware of the bigger picture in which we run our businesses, and that helps us adapt as we cope with everything from the vagaries of the Cumbrian weather to increasing food prices and future food security. We share ideas and information with local and national networks of farmer, food and farming organisations.
Being tenant farmers across generations we are aware that the farm has been here since the 13th century (when it provided food for the castle across the fields) and that it will be here long after we are gone. We run the farm and farm shop businesses as well as we can for today and for the future.
Over two generations, and with the hard work of many people who work here, the farm and shop has thrived and prospered winning many accolades and awards, including:
- National Trust Fine Farm Produce Awards, Kendal Creamy Cheese, 2015
- No.2 in the Telegraph’s Best Farm Shops in the UK list, 2013
- No.6 in the Times’ Best Farm Shops in the UK list, 2013
- Westmorland Agricultural Society, Best Managed Farm, 2013
- Cumbria Life Food & Drink Awards, Best Farm Shop 2012
- Taste of England, Silver award, 2010
- Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2010
- Taste of England’s Northwest, England’s Northwest Tourism Awards 2009
- Taste of Cumbria Award, Cumbria Tourism 2009
- Lifetime Achievement Award from FARMA (National Farmers’and Retail Markets Association) presented to John Park 2008