The Hayward Family have been farming Holmsted since they left South London in the 1900s. The Hayward Brothers, famous for their eponymous pickles, quickly discovered that the heavy wealden clay wasn't suited to growing the vegetables they needed. The brothers sold up, leaving Tony Hayward (Bill's father) as sitting tenant at Holmsted. Sadly, Tony passed away in the late 1990s, and Bill and Amanda took over, managing to buy the farm back. They've overseen some dramatic changes to both the business and the farm itself, getting rid of the dairy cows and bringing the contracting business back in-house.
Nowadays, any hope of growing vegetables has long been abandoned and the farm operates as a 'mixed' farm. Currently, we grow a range of cereal crops on our own land and elsewhere on contracts,as well as two cattle herds run in conjunction with other local farmers. At the moment, we look after 150 Angus/Wagyu beef cows for Trenchmore Farms in Cowfold, and 100 Friesan dairy cows from Lodgelands Farm in Balcombe.
Like many farms locally, we have also diversified. The Courtyard complex of old farm buildings were repurposed in 2001, and over the last 3 years we have really busy converting units, and we now have upwards of 25 commercial tenants in various old farm buildings, as well as the newly opened Holmsted Himalayas Bell Tent site and our CL Club Site for those with caravans.