There have been Littletons at Chark as far as records go back. The family were tenant farmers on the Lanhydrock Estate. Clive Littleton was born here, but moved at the age of 2 with his parents to Pullington Farm in nearby Sweetshouse.
In 1978 we purchased Pullington Farm from the Estate, founding the dairy herd with 10 cows, milked into buckets, and later Chark Farm when Clive’s uncle John was ready to retire as the last tenant of the farm.
The dairy unit at Chark was built in the early 90’s and we moved the cows across (by foot down the main road!).
The barns were converted and the stables built during 2002/2004 with help of diversification grants, and the first lettings were in July 2003.
Having milked cows since 1978 we stopped in September 2015. There is a dairy herd belonging to another local farmer up in the shed being milked by robots! You will see them out grazing as well, they are not like our Holstein cows, they are predominantly cute little Jersey cows. We have signed up to an environmental scheme to manage some of our fields to attract and support wildlife, so Clive has been busy sowing cereal crops for cover, and planting green crops for birds. He has also sown some wildflower mixes too, for the bees and other insects. Our butterfly meadow was swarming with different species this summer. There is still a lot of grassland so some is made into haylage for sale and some goes into silage.
Our two sons are not interested in taking on the farm. Our eldest son Peter has been ordained a Catholic priest, and took up a position in Tooting Bec in September. Our youngest son, Martin has come back from extended travels to New Zealand, Japan and Vietnam, and is enjoying city life in Manchester. Currently working for Amazon! His eventual goal is to study Psychology.
Our daughter Becky is a competent horsewoman, and earns her living breaking, schooling and producing competition horses, some of these she competes for their owners, mainly eventing and dressage. She is also an excellent instructor from beginners to advanced, teaching owners on their own mounts. Recently she is diversifying and has qualified in Holistic Massage and Sports Therapy Massage. Feedback from clients so far has been amazing, she will be offering Chark guests this service, and she is going to add some further therapies such as hot stone massage.