Looking after the land

Hawkstone Abbey Farm is a family-run dairy farm where the focus is on producing milk to make Appleby’s cheese. The approach to farming balances milk production with careful stewardship of the surrounding countryside.

Looking after the land

The Land:

  • Traditional grassland pastures sown with mixed longterm grass seed varieties renowned for grazing cows
  • The salt deposits in the Cheshire Plain, help to produce the milk needed to make true Cheshire Cheese
  • Manure from the farm is used to fertilise the land
  • The Countryside Stewardship Scheme places an emphasis on the wildlife and environment


The Cows:

  • Cows are bred to ensure the right balance of milk for cheesemaking
  • The welfare of the cows is a priority and they have light and spacious housing
  • Two new open plan cow sheds have been recently built, giving the cows a light and airy environment and good access to their feed and water
  • The cows have individual cubicles and they are given daily bedding with straw and sawdust
  • The cows graze on the salty pastures of the Cheshire Plain
  • The diet is a mix of grazed grass, maize silage, wholecrop silage and grass silage – our long term grass mixtures are selected to give the cows the best possible variety in their grazing
  • The cows are milked through a modern rotary milking parlour. This facility reduces the milking time and the stress on the cows

The Milk:

  • Appleby’s milk travels from pasture to parlour to cheese dairy
  • The Head Cheesemaker, Garry Gray, is fully equipped to use his cheesemaking skills to produce Appleby’s cheese from our own unpasteurised milk
  • Only unpasteurised milk from the farm herd is used to make cheese, so there is total quality control
  • The on-farm link between herdsman and cheesemaker is crucial in understanding the variables in the milk each day
  • Appleby’s milk is used to make Appleby’s cheese on the Appleby’s farm

In this section:

Where to find our cheese


trade customers