our farm

THE FARM AND US

Hill Farm is in the village of Stawley in south-west Somerset. The farmhouse has been here since the 16th century, when it was one of the outlying farms belonging to nearby Cothay Manor. The farmland was divided up in the 20th century, and Hill Farm is now a smallholding with 20 acres of permanent pasture and 10 acres of woodland running along the banks of the River Tone. We (Caroline and Will Atkinson) left our jobs and moved to Hill Farm early in 2008 to establish a herd of milking goats and to make a soft goats’ cheese. Caroline had previously worked at Neal’s Yard Dairy in London, and then at Mary Holbrook’s farm near Bath, where she gained invaluable cheese making experience. Will was a lawyer in London and then Bristol, with no relevant experience whatsoever. Our first year at the farm was spent learning how to keep the goats and building a new barn, a milking parlour and a dairy. We began making cheese in the summer of 2009 and, after a few adventures, now have a herd of over 100 goats and are making soft and hard cheese from their raw (unpasteurised) milk.