A Working Farm
Rye Farm is farmed by Peter Bunting while his wife, Virginia, runs the B&B and self-catering side of things. Peter is the third generation of the Bunting family to have lived and worked here, his grandfather having purchased the farm in 1921 - nearly 90 years ago. The farm was compulsorily purchased in the 1930s to build Abberton Reservoir and subsequently the family became tenants of Essex & Suffolk Water.
Up to the end of 2009 the farm covered 370 acres (150 hectares), under wide East Anglian skies. 270 acres were given over to arable crops: wheat, barley and oil-seed rape. The remaining 100 acres was used for grazing, mainly for the farm's flock of sheep and Friesan heifers which were reared for a dairy farm in Suffolk.
Work has now started on a major expansion of neighbouring Abberton Reservoir. Unfortunately as a result of this work, Rye Farm has been reduced to 80 acres. Due to the major reduction in grassland we now have only a small flock of ewes and no cattle. We still grow a limited amount of cereals on the remaining land. Fortunately for us the wide expanse of sky still remains the same.
To the front of the house is the moat, popular with our Aylesbury ducks.
Beyond the moat, the farmhouse looks out over Abberton Reservoir. This 1200 acre Reservoir is a Wetland of International Importance, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area, and one of the most important wildfowl havens in Europe. Some of the wildfowl seem to prefer the facilities we offer at Rye Farm!