Welcome to Rospannel Farm

Me by barn steps 1947
Me in 1947

In the 1940s & 50s we used to be a typical eightyfive acre traditional Mixed Cornish Farm, producing milk, beef, pork, chicken, eggs, turkeys, geese and the occasional wild rabbit. Also growing cauliflower, cabbage, early potatoes, various cut flowers such as daffodils, growing all our own hay, barley, oats, (and milling it into flour), kale, mangolds, turnips etc. to feed the animals and employing three full time men plus my father, mother and seasonal casuals.

Since this country joined the "Common Market" and invited the foreign Supermarkets to control our food production all this has been destroyed, with none of the above being profitable unless done on a massive industrial scale.

Dad & me on his Bedford lorry in our yard 1947
On the Bedford with my Dad

We now only have a very few beef cattle left, that are kept more as pets rather than thinking that we'll actually make a profit.

Most of the farm is now managed more for the wildlife and our own enjoyment, I don't claim any government money for this as I don't want to be told how to look after a farm that I've lived on for seventy-seven years, and my father and granny before that, by people that have never seen it.

We use no insecticides, herbicides or artificial fertilizers.

Now to the climate, despite being in what is probably the least affected place in the world by global climate change, due to our proximity to the Gulf stream, our weather has changed dramatically especially in the last twenty years, to what it was like when I was young. For example, we used to regularly get flocks of around six hundred Lapwings in our fields in cold winters and they occasionally bred in small numbers. Have only seen one fly over on its own in the last three years.

Rather ironically, in the very cold winter of 1962-63 all of the Adders that were widespread all over the farm were completely wiped out and have never returned. This far end of Cornwall West of Hayle had no snow to insulate the soil when the sudden deep freeze that lasted two months started, our cattle troughs, built out of concrete blocks and 6ft X 2ft 6 ins X 2ft 6 ins were one solid block of ice. The sixty acre Drift reservoir was frozen over completely, thick enough to be driven across by an un-named young farmer at the deep end!

Rant over, and I hope you find something of interest on the rest of the site.

Bernard Hocking


Cattle by the pool in 1999