About The Farm
At West Ilkerton Farm the aim is to blend modern knowledge with sustainable farming methods using local breeds that are suited to the area. Devon cattle and Exmoor horn sheep have been bred there in an unbroken line for well over a century, so the Eveleigh family are keen to conserve this living link with the past and hand it on to future generations.
West Ilkerton is a home as well as a business. The welfare of the animals and conservation of their beautiful farm are very important to the Eveleighs. The farmhouse is supplied with electricity from a wind turbine and is heated by a biomass boiler that burns wood from the hedges and trees. The farm is under a Higher Level Stewardship agreement, which helps conserve a variety of wildlife and historical features.
Exmoor Horn Sheep and Devon ‘Red Ruby’ Cattle
These are ideally suited to the Eveleigh’s traditional style of farming, as both breeds were developed in the Exmoor area to cope with its challenging environment.
Their livestock eat grass in the summer and home-grown hay and haylage (dry silage) in the winter. Occasionally some animals (for example the ewes before lambing) are fed carefully selected cereal-based feed when grass alone can’t supply the energy to stay healthy.
Chris Eveleigh says, “It gives us tremendous pleasure to go around the farm and see contented animals grazing in the fields.”
Pedigree Red Ruby Devon Beef
Devons produce wonderfully succulent, marbled beef with an excellent flavour.
All the beef cattle at West Ilkerton are pedigree ‘Red Ruby’ Devons and are born and raised at West Ilkerton. They are grass fed, kept as naturally as possible to minimise stress and are treated with compassion at all times. The Eveleighs take them to the local abattoir in Combe Martin themselves. The meat is air-dried in a cold store at Combe Martin Meats for at least three weeks before being cut and packed by their master butcher. All the cuts are vacuum packed for freshness, and their beef burgers and sausages are put in freezer bags. The sausages and beef burgers are gluten free.
In 2019 the Eveleigh are planning to provide tractor and trailer tours of the farm during the summer in a covered trailer, so visitors will be able to see the animals and enjoy the wonderful scenery.
For more information please visit http://westilkerton.co.uk/