Thetford Farm Estate is the parent company of FRS Farming, a third-generation arable farm and contract farm business situated in South Lincolnshire. Operating across 3 locations; Baston, Morton and Twenty, the farm grows a combination of crops such as wheat, barley, potatoes and oilseed rape, as well as peas, beans and oats.
Thetford Farm Estate are the owners of The White Horse pub in Baston, The Dutch Barn flexible office spaces and the Thetford Farm Barn wedding venue which is available for weddings and events from Spring 2024.
Located in one of the most unique topographies in the UK, FRS Farming, like many before enjoys the benefits and beauty of the Fens. Referred to as ‘the soak of no less than thirteen countries’ by Daniel Defoe, the Fens are a mixture of many different soils converging together with deposits from the North Sea due to changing sea levels over millions of years. The last 1,500 years have seen mankind trying to control this unique landscape with a network of complex waterways. Such as the south forty foot that we border at Morton Fen and Twenty stretching for 21 miles first established in 1654. The remnants of the 85 mile Roman cardyke (fen dyke) which provided a navigation route from Peterborough to Lincoln, as well as controlling the flow of water across the fens are still visible running through Thetford Farm.
With big skies and the unique farming land it is no wonder that Frank Richardson was drawn to this area some 100 years ago. Three generations of Richardson’s have since worked the land, with our neighbours playing a critical part in the supply of food often referred to as ‘Britain’s breadbasket’. Shire horses were a big part of farm life until machinery finally took over during John Richardson’s stewardship. John’s son, the late Mark Richardson, then steered the farm towards the modern practices that we now recognise today. Continuing this third generation of Richardson’s, the team at Thetford Farm Estate is now headed up by Mark’s wife Jo-Anne Richardson and Finance and Operations Director, Trina Britton.
The Estate office and Barns are set in the heart of one of our three sites in the Parish of Baston. The site of the ancient settlement of Thetford has been a meeting place across Eastern England since Roman times. The name Thetford is derived from Old English, and means ‘the peoples’ ford’, probably denoting a public ford.
The Team at FRS Farming have a long history of working with the Richardson’s. Farm Manager Mark, is the fourth generation to help lead us through the opportunities, changes and challenges of modern farming and contracting. The team live and breath the farm with the majority living on the farm and an integral part of Fen life. Their knowledge, dedication and desire to learn are key to the success of the Estate and they set the tone for other areas of the business. Under Mark’s guidance the team are embracing more sustainable methods of farming with changes in farming operations. Early adopters of the countryside stewardship scheme that encouraged farms to look after and improve the environment and now actively embracing the Sustainable Farming Incentives.