Native Irish Black Bees
In 2021, Hannah noticed that there were very few bees on her farm and a lower than normal apple harvest. She was worred that not enough was being done to support Ireland's native bee population and got her first hive - she now has three and can identify the pollen from wildflowers in the meadows where they graze cattle.
Tory Hill practices Holistic or Mob grazing which is a technique where wildflowers and grasses are given time to blossom and bloom. This allows pollinators and insects the chance to feed on them and helps to create layers of carbon as cattle trample the grasses into the earth. Cattle are regularly moved to prevent permanent damage to the fields.
The family is fascinated by wildlife and are keen to create sanctuary areas on their farm. They have built ponds, erected bird boxes, planted native hedgerows and let meadows flourish. They've also built an otter holt! Hannah read a report from 1994 citing that otters were in the area but no one has ever seen any on the farm. Fingers crossed that will change this year!
Maisie, Myrtle, Myriam and Molly
The four British Friesian ladies on the farm are the primary milkers and are inseparable. They have stuck together through various boyfriends and work related drama, and can regularly be seen in a collective group gossiping and eating. Hence why they've earned their Sex and the City spin off farm series.
Mrs Murphy is one of the 10 pedigree Hereford cows living on Hannah's farm. She is a big lady who loves her food but unlike her sisters on the farm does not enjoy scratches. She has lots of milk for a beef cow and has only ever produced bull calves but Hannah REALLY wants her to have a heifer to keep breeding from her line.
Not to be outdone by the cows. We also keep a number of hens, ducks and geese on the farm. There has always been a Mrs Goose, and the name has stuck and passed to successive generations of mother geese. There is usually also a gander lurking in the mix who has been known to take on anyone from foxes to farm workers if they get too close to Mrs Goose.