A FARMER from Somerset has swapped hogs for holidays in a bid to diversify his business. 

George Ford, a sixth-generation family farmer from Bristol, turned his farmhouse into a five-bedroom holiday let. 

Up until February 2023, Nempnett Pastures, George's family farming business, was home to an indoor pig rearing unit. 

The system never lived up to George's high-welfare ethos and principles, and so he decided to focus on producing meat in a more ethical manner. Now, the farm specialises in higher welfare poultry and beef farming. They have a wide range of livestock from turkeys and chickens to grass-fed beef cows. 

South West Farmer: George Ford, from Bristol.

The farm has also started hosting open farm events inviting the public onto the farm to learn, play and eat. Whilst visitors are on the farm they can take a farm safari to learn about the animals and reconnect them with their food.  

When the pig unit needed updating, George decided to explore new ways to bring people to the farm. 

“When we made the choice last year to discontinue our intensive indoor pig unit in favour of higher welfare standards, we knew our profits would be impacted if we didn’t do something different to secure revenue," George said. 

So they turned the 400-year-old farmhouse into a five-bedroom holiday let, and turnover has increased by £60k in its first six months of operation. 

In order to rennovate the house, Nempnett Pastures secured a £100,000 funding package from Lloyds Bank. 

South West Farmer: The holiday let at Nempnett Pastures.

“Thanks to Lloyds Bank, we’ve been able to transform our farmhouse and welcome guests to experience what we have to offer on the farm as we head towards more sustainable ways of working," George added. 

“We’re very proud to produce meat from the highest welfare standards possible at Nempnett Pastures. It’s great to see the progress we’ve made over the last six years in rearing our poultry and cattle in an increasingly ethical and sustainable manner.” 

Michael Stus, relationship director of Lloyds Banking Group, added: “We’re always happy to support businesses like Nempnett Pastures who are focused not only on their growth and development, but also on their values and ethics. We look forward to seeing the business develop and are excited for new customers to discover their high-quality products. 

“We’ll continue to be by the side of George and his team, as well as other similar businesses that are looking to expand their offering and provide new services to their customers.”