Flock No. 239
There have been Hardings in Atterton for almost 150 years, and at Lodge Farm since 1903. Although family changes meant that the Bentley Suffolk flock was actually founded when Tom and his young family lived about 8 miles away at Dudley Wood Farm, Bentley; they returned to Atterton in 1966.
Today Lodge Farm is 180 acres and the Suffolk flock is a very large part of the business. The farm also has a small acreage of wheat, barley and oats; and store cattle are bought in and finished.
The Bentley Suffolk Flock was first registered in 1960, and since then Tom and Charles have concentrated on producing top quality breeding sheep of high health status – being Maedi-visna accredited, Scrapie monitored, and are now members of the NATIONAL SCRAPIE PLAN.
Throughout the flock’s history they have been regulars at Midland Shows both as exhibitors and prize winners.
Tom and Charles have always aimed to produce a type of Suffolk most suitable to the commercial breeder. Over 100 rams (both lambs and shearlings) are sold annually to produce butchers lambs. Prolificacy and growth rate have always been maintained as important factors, – and to that end the flock joined the Suffolk Sire Reference Scheme ; and are thrilled to have now had 3 ram lambs selected as reference sires – in 1997, 2000 and 2002.
The Bentley flock have also been regular exhibitors and vendors at the Suffolk Society Shows and Sales, and have had Royal Show Championships 3 times, and both Male & Female Champion at the National Sale.