Our History

jo & daisy tejwp cutting wheat

Like many family farms Thrales End has adapted and changed to the needs of the market. A traditional mixed farm at the turn of the last century,Walter Pigott farmed longhorn cattle and grew grains to feed his livestock. His son Willie succeeded him just before WW2 continuing to rear cattle, although now choosing Herefords and Angus as his preferred breeds.

John Pigott took over the farm from his father in the 1950’s, and still farms at Thrales End with his son Ian. John moved away from cattle and invested into pigs. At its peak in the mid ’70s Thrales End was home to hundreds of porkers. In his quest to satisfy growing demand for fresh strawberries and raspberries, John also opened Thrales End fruit farm in the late ’80s selling strawberries and raspberries. A sheep flock was started in 1986 selling fat lambs to Banbury market. Following a dramatic downturn in pig and lamb prices, the pigs were sold in the 1995 and the sheep flock was disbanded in 2000.

Thrales End has not had animals since then but has continued to diversify. In 2007 thirty percent of the farm was converted to organic production. Today the farm is no longer organic but instead committed to integrated farming, through conservation tillage (no-till). Focusing on growing the best quality grains, pulses and oilseeds whilst maintaining a thriving and diverse habitats for wildlife.

The Pigotts started a new venture called the Pop Up Farm in 2017, combining education, experience and farming.  Events such as sunflower picking, a huge pumpkin patch with squashes, sweetcorn and more to come in the future.  www.thepopupfarm.co.uk

The farm commits a considerable amount of time reconnecting school children and adults with farming and where their food comes from through our education programme, The Farmschool.