Luxury holiday resorts acquires market garden from previous owners

A luxury cottage and spa resort in Cornwall has taken over Neetfield Market Garden from its previous owners, husband and wife Rosie and Tom Barclay.

The resort, which places sustainability at the heart of its business, has taken back the lease on the land so that it can provide its restaurant, and its guests’ welcome hampers, with fresh, organic, seasonal fruit and vegetables, grown on the Whalesborough Estate, near Marhamchurch.

Whalesbourough, which is taking on a team to tend to the new market garden, will embrace the Barclay’s no-dig method, which avoids the use of machinery, fertilisers, or chemicals on the existing market garden footprint, and instead adopts an organic approach using green manures and cover crops.

Any excess produce will be used to supply local food banks, and to feed Whalesborough’s alpacas, pigs, chickens, and goats, which staying guests can meet as part of the Whalesborough Little Farmers experience.

Away from market garden footprint, Whalesborough has planted over 9,000 Sunflower seeds, which will be ready to harvest in late summer. 22,000 pumpkin seeds have been sewn in an additional field nearby, ready for the Halloween harvest.

Chosen to create a rich environment for wildlife, and pick-your-own sunflower and pumpkin experiences for local children and guests, these crops add to the range of fresh, seasonal herbs, soft fruit, salads and vegetables which will be grown on the estate. Whalesborough also plans to introduce over 15,000 Cornish Black Bees, which will be housed in hand-built hives at the market garden, to enhance pollination and to provide honey for guests.

The Barclays, who took over the lease on the 1-acre of land from Whalesborough in August 2020, are moving on to set up a new market garden and hospitality business in Cornwall, which will see them continue to supply their existing client base, including the like of Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, and Outlaw’s New Road, as well as a many of Cornwall’s other leading restaurants.

Ben Nolan-Stone, managing director of Whalesborough luxury cottage and spa resort, said: “When Rosie and Tom came to us to let us know that they planned to move to a new site, we saw the immediate opportunity to add to and enhance our field-to-fork ethos.

“Over the last year this approach has seen us raise our own stock, providing The Weir restaurant with lamb and beef. Now, with the transfer of the market garden back to Whalesborough, we can add fresh fruit, herbs, vegetables, and even honey to the list of produce that’s raised, ripened or harvested from our own land.

“We wish Rosie and Tom the very best with their new venture. They have been wonderful custodians of the market garden. Now, we look forward to an exciting new chapter for Whalesborough with yet more land devoted to the production of fresh fruit and vegetables.”