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Ashlyns Farm is a 300-acre family-run organic farm near Ongar. It lies in an ancient and largely unspoilt countryside of winding lanes, thick hedgerows and meandering brooks. It is a demonstration farm for the Soil Association and a farm trail has been laid out from which you can view the small thickly hedged fields, the lake, the ponds, and the many wildlife-friendly features.
Like most organic farms it is a mixed farm, growing wheat, potatoes and fertility-building crops such as clover, and raising free-range hens, Lincoln Red cattle, Suffolk sheep and Essex Saddleback pigs.
Wildlife-friendly features include beetle banks and conservation headlands. Features such as these are fundamental to an organic farming system that relies on predatory insects to help to control pests, rather than solely insecticides. They also mean that the farm is rich in wildlife.
The trail starts from the farm shop, which has been constructed on a green oak frame just like a traditional Essex barn. Trail leaflets and a restaurant are available as well as what you would expect: a wide range of organic food products
From junction 7 of the M11, take the A414 towards Chelmsford. Continue over a mini-roundabout, then over a big roundabout and you will see the farm shop on your left. From the east the farm shop is on the right about 2 miles past Ongar.
Farm shop and trail open 8.30am–6pm Mon–Fri; 8.30am–5pm Sat and Sun.
For more information phone 01992 525146; email firstname.lastname@example.org; web www.ashlyns.co.uk.