Set on the edge of the Brecks, in the heart of East Anglia, Manor Farm has been in the care of our family for three generations. Once a traditional arable farm complete with chickens, pigs, turkeys and vegetables, we are now moving away from intensive farming methods and slowly returning the farm to nature, transforming it into something truly spectacular. Spread over 750 acres, the site is made up of a mixture of farmland, wildflower meadows, lakes and woodland. By letting parts of the farm lie fallow, creating wild birdseed plots and wildflower meadows we are transforming the landscape into a wildlife and conservation haven.
We are Andy, Rebecca, Rosie and Thomas and are the current custodians of the farm. The Thornton family have been caring for the land here since Andy’s grandfather first moved down from the Borders after the Second World War.
After working as a ski instructor Andy returned to the family farm in 1993. It was at this stage he started to develop an interest in how conservation and caring for the environment can run alongside a commercial farming business.
Rebecca trained as a doctor in Leeds and moved to Norfolk in 1994. After twenty years working as a GP she decided to leave the NHS and help Andy run the farm.
Manor Farm, and Wild With Nature are set in the Breckland village of Shropham. The area was made famous by author Mary Mann, who lived at Manor Farm and wrote about rural life during the early 20th century. Shropham was the setting for one of her most famous books, the Tales of Dulditch.
Although Shropham feels a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the modern world it is less the two hours from London, 40 minutes from Cambridge and just 30 minutes from the heart of Norwich. Norwich Airport is less than half an hour from the site and Stansted is around an hour away. The closest rail station is 10 minutes away at Attleborough and has regular links to Norwich and Cambridge.