Tiptoe Farm is a family farm based in the beautiful River Till Valley in North Northumberland.
The Carroll Family focus on growing conventional and organic crops with the aim to achieve the best Integrated Farm Management in all aspects of their business.
Farmer: Anthony, Lucy, Tom & Rosie Carroll
Member since 1994 and LEAF Demonstration Farm since 2008
Certification: LEAF Marque
Tiptoe Farm is a 250-hectare arable farm where top quality crops are grown with care for the environment and wildlife. The soil is silty clay loam and managed with minimum tillage and direct drilling. Crops include Wheat for biscuits, and whisky , and malting whiskey, Spelt for milling and Oats for milling, Beans for human consumption. There are a wide range of conservation measure including Pollen and nectar crops, grass and wildflower margins are grown to provide an insect rich habitat for birds in the Spring.
The River Till which is a site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC) runs through the valley, surrounded by semi-ancient natural woodland.
Tourism is an important part of the farm life where the Orchard Cottage provides self-catering accommodation with sea trout and salmon fishing on the River Till. Guests can learn about the LEAF farming at Tiptoe including key wildlife habitats, biodiversity, bird life including yellow hammers, lapwings, wagtails, barn owls, partridges, otters, and red squirrels.
Anthony says “LEAF provides us with support and guidance which enables us to increase people’s understanding of the story behind their food- that commercial farming can go alongside care for and the enhancement of the environment”.
Tiptoe is involved in the Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship Scheme which will contribute to protecting and enhancing the natural environment including the diversity of wildlife, flora and fauna.
Tiptoe is home to much wildlife including yellowhammers, lapwings, wagtails, barn owls, otters, badgers, and red squirrels. Grass field margins provide habitats for ground nesting birds, pollen and nectar crops provide an insect-rich habitat and seed-bearing crops feed the birds through the winter. Bee Hives are kept on the farm by local beekeeper Willie Robson at Chainbridge Honey Farm
Over the years, hedges have been planted to create both wildlife corridors and nesting habitats. Native trees are also being planted alongside semi-ancient natural woodland to create a multi superstructure for a wide range of wildlife.
There is an Education Room providing a space for Farm visits, talks, and open days which are available to groups through contacting LEAF…….
Bread Making courses are provided by Pauline Beaumont who lives at Tiptoe and is the author of Bread Therapy, which was published in 2020. Pauline uses local flours and grains to demonstrate how food is grown with a farm to plate concept.
The Carroll Family host group visits for schools, community groups, hospitality sector. They have a strong passion for sharing their knowledge and increasing people’s understanding about the story behind their food. Developments are progressing to improve and increase the educational provision by providing more ways to inform and educate about the wildlife, trees, environmental work, and the archaeological features at Tiptoe. Additional self-catering holiday accommodation provision is planned for 2022.
LEAF Members have access to further resources “Sustainable Soil Management at Tiptoe Farm” and “Water Management Bulletin: Farm in Focus.”