As the nights begin to draw in and the mornings start to feel more autumnal we all begin to think about the impending winter and preparations begin. Our time seems even more precious in the winter with limited daylight hours and who wants to spend all their time mucking out when time with our horses is so precious.
Burlybed and Burlerrow Farm has always operated with the environment and conservation in mind. Miscanthus was chosen as a crop for its natural properties, not only making an exceptionally absorbent and yet durable animal bedding but also for the benefits it brings the farm on a wider scale.
Miscanthus is the main focus. We have 120 acres of our own plus over 500 acres of other growers’ crops to harvest and the weather plays a key role. The crop grows as a perennial and as temperatures drop in the late autumn the plants begin to draw the nutrients back down below ground into the rhizome, effectively allowing the main body of the plants to die back and begin to dry out.
As a three-time Olympic medal-winning eventer, William Fox-Pitt knows a thing or two about competition; yet the equestrian champion is adamant that winning has never been what matters to him. “I’m at a stage in my career now where I’m much more excited by individual horses than by personal ambition,” he says.