Couple in hunt for farm 'Within 45-minute drive' of Essex town after daughter's illness

PUBLISHED: 07:56 06 November 2009 | UPDATED: 22:02 31 May 2010

Family looking for a farm.

Family looking for a farm.

A BREEDER of pedigree livestock is desperately searching for Saffron Walden farmland after his daughter, who lives in the town, was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. Julian Pearson and his wife Lesley, who have 30 sheep and 20 cattle, had to chan

A BREEDER of pedigree livestock is desperately searching for Saffron Walden farmland after his daughter, who lives in the town, was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease.

Julian Pearson and his wife Lesley, who have 30 sheep and 20 cattle, had to change their retirement plans when there daughter, Hayley, 27, became ill.

"Originally we purchased a 50-acre farm in Wiltshire, but when we realised how sick Hayley was we sold it so we could continue to live close to her," said Mr Pearson, 48.

Hayley, who lives on Bridge Street with her husband and baby daughter, was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease, lupus, and Hughes Syndrome, which can cause clotting of the blood vessels.

Mr Pearson is now trying to find a replacement farm within 45 minutes' drive of Saffron Walden so that they can support their daughter and her family.

His prized livestock of Belted Galloway cattle and Wiltshire Horn sheep are currently being raised on a farm in Yorkshire while he searches for a farm in the area.

However, because landowners are breaking up their holdings Mr Pearson is struggling to find the 50 to 75 acres he is after.

"It seems there are no controls on the way farms are disposed of," he said. "We have found farms selling off land separately from buildings and, if a farmhouse does come up for sale, it might come with only an acre or two.

"There is no guarantee of getting both in the same place and we spend hours every day trawling through estate agents' websites, hoping to find a place, even if we have to convert it from arable to grassland."

After spending most of his life working as an IT and business consultant, Mr Pearson wants to quit the rat race and focus on breeding animals. He also hopes to share his passion with other people in the community.

"It is our intention to ensure that any public footpaths on the land we buy are kept open and supplemented with permissive routes," he said

"We want people to enjoy the sight of the cattle, sheep and horses grazing and working in the fields, without having to pay for what would have been an everyday sight in years past."

If you are a farmer, or you know a farmer planning to dispose of part or all of their farm, please send an email to farm@julianprojects.co.uk or call the family on 07976 179497.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Saffron Walden Reporter. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Saffron Walden Reporter