Trading as Branches Park Hatcheries and based near Newmarket, the company rears approximately half a million pheasants and partridges each year. Birds are sold to shoots from the South-West of England to Wales and northern Scotland as well as across East Anglia. Peter Bailey started the business in 2009, when neighbouring estates asked him to supply poults to them alongside birds he was rearing for his own shoot.
The shoot is on approximately 600ha of arable fields and woodland which is owned by the Bailey family. Most shoot days are for the family and friends, but there are also a growing number of sold days each year.
“The land is predominantly heavy clay, so during the wet winter months if we try to use tractors and trailers or conventional 4x4 vehicles, they often struggle and cause excessive ground damage including deep ruts,” explained Peter. “We needed something smaller and lighter, and invested in a secondhand Honda TRX350 Fourtrax 4wd ATV which was purchased from our local main dealer, and it revolutionised our shoot transport. Its reliability was amazing and it made travel around the farm quick and easy, and its light weight and large flotation tyres meant it hardly left a mark even in the wettest conditions.”
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