Bristol’s last farm begins honey production
The last working farm in the city of Bristol has started producing its own honey – and won the seal of approval from the region’s bee-friendly underground mayor.
Catherine Withers, who runs Yew Tree Farm in Bedminster Down, has always taken pride in the low intensity management of the farm which has been in the family for half a century.
And now, with four beehives facing an old hay meadow that is home to over 80 species of flowers and plants, the first honey is now ready to be tasted.
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The first to get the first jar of honey produced on a working farm in Bristol for decades was Dan Norris, Mayor of the West England Underground, who promoted and improved the environment for the region’s bees a top priority.
“Bristol’s last working farm has just started producing its own delicious honey, so I rushed over there to taste it,” he said. “In a week where the impact of climate change once again dominated the news, I looked forward to hearing more about Yew Tree Farm’s work to create and maintain a thriving bee population in the world. south of Bristol. “
Yew Tree Farm, close to South Bristol Crematorium and the A38 at Bedminster Down, is the last working farm based within Bristol city limits – the others are either city farms, small farms or parks managed. Yew Tree Farm produces a range of organic pork, beef, eggs, fruits and vegetables, as well as seasonal jams and chutneys.
But farmer Catherine Withers, whose family owns 28 acres in Bristol’s last self-sufficient farm and leases an additional 15 acres next door, warned the farm’s future was in jeopardy – as city council intends to authorize the construction of houses there.
The council’s local plan is set to revoke green belt status from the 15 acres Catherine is leasing near Bridgwater Road, and Redrow developers have already planned to build 200 new homes there.
Last year, Catherine said if the leased fields became housing, it would be impossible to keep a viable working farm, and not just because space for the family’s cattle herd would be drastically reduced.
The basic problem is that the 28-acre land they own is crossed by several public trails, which would be inundated by residents and dog walkers of the new estate.