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Wild flower specialists take on Marshland farm

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Bank House Farm is the latest acquistion to the County Farms estate and will create new opportunities for Emorsgate to progress its business.

Emorsgate are current tenants of the 132-acre Ingleborough Farm on the West Walton Estate, and grows around 150 different species of wild flowers and grasses for seed production which are then dried on site and processed into mixes at the main premises at Tilney All Saints.

Linzi James and Laurie MacIntyre, part of the team at Emorsgate Seeds Ltd, new tenants of Bank House Farm. Picture: Supplied (1935702)
Linzi James and Laurie MacIntyre, part of the team at Emorsgate Seeds Ltd, new tenants of Bank House Farm. Picture: Supplied (1935702)

These seeds are used as straights or blended as mixtures for gardens and landscaping and are sold both to retail and trade customers. Each year, more than 3,000 acres of species-rich grassland is restored or created using seeds from Emorsgate.

The company holds a Royal Warrant by appointment to the Prince of Wales as suppliers of wild flower and grass seeds. They have been involved in many high profile projects, including landscaping for the Olympic village at the London 2012 Olympic Games as well as supplying many major road building schemes including the A14 and A47.

Emorsgate began on the estate with just five acres in the early 1980s. Over the last 30 years the business has steadily grown and their promotion to Bank House Farm will give them the acreage to drastically increase the scale of their business and provide additional employment opportunities.

Donald MacIntyre, of Emorsgate, said: “We are delighted that our application for the tenancy of Bank House Farm has been successful. Norfolk County Council have been very supportive of our business over many years and we found the application process for Bank House Farm both thorough and fair.

“We now look forward to an exciting period of expansion, allowing us to take on more staff and produce more wild flower seeds. This move strengthens our partnership with Norfolk County Council and will make Norfolk the UK centre for the production of native restoration seeds.”

The council received 39 applications for four farms and overall the standard was very high.

Following shortlisting, nine candidates were interviewed by a panel consisting of officers, elected members and external experts. In each case, the panel had a difficult decision to make as the quality of the candidates was so high, but after a rigorous selection process, appointments were successfully made for each farm.

Cllr Keith Kiddie, chair of Norfolk County Council’s Business and Property Committee, said: “Congratulations to all of the successful tenants; we’re delighted that they’ll be able to use their knowledge and experience to take on these exciting opportunities.

“This year’s lettings illustrate the success of the County Farms estate in providing a crucial ladder into farming. Two existing tenants are being able to progress to larger farms, creating opportunities behind them as they vacate their current farms, and new entrants are being given the chance to get established and farm on their own account.”

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