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The Farm

Bank Ground Farm

Bank Ground Farm is a working farm and home to the Batty family. It has been farmed by the family for generations and now covers approximately 200 acres in the south central Lake District, some of the most breathtaking and unspoilt countryside in the whole of the united Kingdom. With approximately 3000mm of rain per year (and hopefully some sunshine!) it is the perfect place to grow lush sweet grass and hence raise fantastic livestock on high quality low input grassland.

The farm has seen diversification into the hospitality arena and now sleeps up to 60 (a guesthouse & self catering cottages) as well as the addition of a cafe, restaurant and many activities including SUP courses, boat and bike hire.

The farm is set on the eastern shores of Coniston Water in the heart of the Lake District, with magnificent views of both the lake and the 2635ft summit of Coniston Old Man it is no wonder why we see many people stop to take a quick snap.

Our Meat - Grass Fed, Organic in Character and Delicious!

Bank Ground Farm is a small farm off the beaten track surrounded by fields, hills and lakes. Our ethos is to farm in a sensible and sustainable manner so whilst not organically certified we farm a low input system that is mainly organic in character allowing us to develop the highest possible quality grass finished beef and lamb.

Jonathon with Aberdeen Angus cow

As foodies, we set out with the simple (or maybe not so simple!) aim of producing something special. Fantastic quality, sustainable  and ethically farmed as well traceable meat for us and our family to enjoy. The hope was to produce something exceptional which we would then be able to share with our friends and guests. It has been so well received that we hope to now share it with as many people as we can.
Our Aberdeen Angus were chosen from a shortlist of native cattle because of their suitability to the Lake District weather, their ability to grow well from grass and their justifiable reputation as, one of, if not the best beef producing cattle in the world. In commercial meat production, the quantity of meat per carcass and the speed at which the cattle grows are the main criteria for breed selection. However at Bank Ground we have selected our cattle purely based on the quality of the meat.
We have spent the last 12 years improving our farming processes, systems and our herd by constantly seeking the the best genetics available and selectively breeding for meat quality. Additionally we have improved the quality of our pasture by investing in reseeding, improving forage grasses and soil quality rather than applying fertilisers and feeding concentrates.
All our beef is from our own pedigree herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle. They are grass fed on the farm and the meat is dry aged for a minimum of 21 days to develop a full flavour.

We absolutely love eating beef and lamb and thanks to the teams dedication and Jonathon's breeding skills we are now truly proud of our product and hope that you enjoy it too.

Our lamb is from our own flock of Jacob sheep grazed alongside the cattle and specifically chosen for their suitability to our farm, this environment and our farming methods, they have an exceptionally full flavour which is often described as slightly sweeter than commercial breeds, it is also leaner than most breeds and hence does not get too fatty which can often be a problem with lamb.

All of our beef and lamb is born on the farm and finished here before being taken to a small family run local abattoir and prepared and packaged for us by a fantastic local butchers.

Jacob sheep are cream and brown and can have two or four horns, our favourite lamb "Mini baby baa baa" was our first Jacob pet lamb and is incredibly tame, she's always up for a cuddle and with one straight horn and one curly horn she fits in the Batty family a treat!Cuddles with Jacob sheep

The lambs around Easter time, especially the pet lambs are a spectacle on the lawn for both children and adults alike. If you follow us on social media you'll be able to follow lambing and get a snapshot of what we're up to on the farm.

We are currently expanding our herb gardens, growing more vegetable patches, raised beds and greenhouse crops to try and produce as much of our own veggies and fruit onsite. Our dream is to be sustainable but unless Shayla's avocado tree starts growing avos soon I dare say we'll always be slight dependent on supermarkets!

The Swallows and Amazons Connection

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Our traditional Lake District farm is steeped in literary history, Bank Ground Farm is perhaps best known as “Holly Howe”, the name given to it by Arthur Ransome when it acted as a part inspirational source for his famous children’s story Swallows & Amazons, in which the house and its lakeside setting become the fictional home, Holly Howe, of the Walker children. Their adventures set on, in and around Bank Ground Farm and Coniston Water have become well loved the world over. The farm was extensively used in the 1974 film version of Swallows and Amazons starring Virginia McKenna and Ronald Fraser.

Our cafe and restaurant have been named in honour of Arthur Ransome's fantastic adventures on Coniston Water, as the Swallows and Amazons Cafe and restaurant. A few years ago we commissioned the talented Andy Levy to carve stunning sculpture to depict the moment that the children force the uncle to walk the plank. It was carved from an oak tree that had died, right next to the lake shore making it the perfect spot to walk the plank! Next time you visit be sure to go down and have a wander over and grab a piccie next to the pirate uncle!