About Lydney Park
- Joined the Strategic Dairy Farm network in Autumn 2023
- 10-week spring block calving herd of 850 Jersey X cows
- Yields of 4750 litres per cow using a 32-point rotary parlour
- 640 ha with a 300-ha milking platform 2m above sea level
- Grazing from calving in February until mid-November
Follow Lydney Park if you are interested in:
- Optimising low-cost grass-based systems for maximised returns
- Improving your block-calving system
- Maximising cow and heifer performance
- Starting your journey to profitable and environmental sustainability
Mile Bridge Dairy unit was built on a green field site in 1997 when the estate's former dairies were amalgamated into one.
Managed by Gavin Green, the dairy has a team of 12 full-time and part-time staff, including retained consultant Keith Davis and team leader Pawel Wegelewski.
Located in Gloucestershire, Lydney Park is a 640-ha farm located on the Lydney Park estate. At 2m above sea level, flood barriers have been installed to protect the grazing platform due to the proximity of the River Severn.
Gavin and Kieth are focused on increasing the sustainability of the dairy at Lydney Park Farms.
As a spring block-calving farm, calving in 10 weeks of fertility is the main driver of efficiency alongside grazed grass. The genetics have been adapted to suit the system since it changed in 2007, and previous arable ground has been added to the milking platform.
With an SSSI on the farm and ELS and HLS agreements in place, they are now looking at sward diversity to improve biodiversity and soil management within the grazing system.
This 10-week spring-calving herd of 850 Jersey X cows averages 4,750 litres per cow per year at 5.30% butterfat and 3.93% protein.
The heifers are reared on another farm, breeding 200 replacements a year, with the rest going into beef. Gavin and Keith used cow genetics, low-cost grass-based systems and milking routines to increase productivity on farm.
From 1997 until 2007, Lydney Park Farms had a fully housed, three-times-a-day milking herd of Holsteins.
In an effort to find a more profitable system, the cows were turned out to grass, and Gavin and Keith started to cross-breed their herd with Jerseys to help with fertility and increase milk solids.
A low-cost grass-based spring calving system was adopted with arable land from the estate laid to grass to suit the increased number of cows, which reached 800 in 2008.
With long-standing times at the pre-existing 32-point rotary parlour, they switched to once-a-day milking, with cow numbers peaking at 1000. However, they have recently switched back to twice-a-day milking and reduced cow numbers to 850 as they believe this is the best system for the farm to maximise overall productivity.
“What is important to us at Lydney is that at the end of the three-year period, as a Strategic Dairy Farm, we are a more focused, profitable and environmentally sustainable farm with a happy and motivated team.”
News and past events
- Improving cow health during the transition period (February 2023) – Working with Alastair Macrae, University of Edinburgh, David and Tom have been looking at how blood testing can inform their transition cow management (video to come)