North Down Farm is owned and run by father and son team, David and Ross Mangles. David's father, Rob Mangles, bought the Farm in 1966 on retiring from the army. He initially kept pigs, beef cattle and grew oats and barley, but in 1973 he was offered a 30 year contract to grow cider apples for Taunton Cider, so 8000 trees of a dozen varieties were planted in six orchards over the following three years. Most of these trees are still cropping well to this day and have been joined by two new orchards which include many old heritage varieties, some of which are very rare.
As well as using the apples to make our own cider for The Cider Barn, we also supply craft cidermakers all over the UK. Our apples have gone into many award winning ciders, from traditional farmhouse styles to the finest of fine ciders.
We farm without the use or artificial fertiliser or chemical pesticides, and we try to give back to the land more than we take away, leaving a healthier and more resilient ecosystem for the next generation. We’re always looking for ways to work with nature rather than against it, creating habitats for beneficial insects and birds by, for example, letting the grass grow to maturity under the trees, and not flailing our hedges. This way we can control pests and diseases in the orchards whilst also benefiting wildlife and the soil and helping to protect the ecosystem, and sequestering carbon in the ground.
Since 2020 we have been diversifying into hospitality so that we can share what we have with our local communities as well as those from further afield, while ensuring a more secure economic future for the farm. We now offer camping and glamping during the summer months as well as opening The Cider Barn for food and drink every Friday evening of the year (except in January and February). From May to September we host live bands most Fridays on the Barn Stage, so you can get up close and dance to the music or find a quieter spot in the bar or the yard.