The family that runs Little Down Farm are believed to have been in Westfield for over 200 years and before that in the next door village of Brede, some two miles away.
There have been five generations of Bakers on the land where we plant our trees.
This part of Westfield was originally gorse land and was cleared by hand or at best by horse and cart. It took many weeks to clear just one acre of land.
The land at Westfield was originally used for producing vegetables, like potatoes, beans, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, beetroot, etc and many people were employed on the land.
The vegetables were then harvested and delivered by the farm’s horse and cart to the local towns and villages. We were renowned for the very highest quality vegetables. Years ago there were no supermarkets; only vegetable shops and little stalls with lovely old fashioned service and loyalty
When the supermarkets began appearing, the little shops began to disappear and our business had to change. We started growing more potatoes than vegetables, which were supplied to fish and chip restaurants.
In the 1980’s vegetable production ceased and we had to find an alternative use for the land. We decided to grow a few Christmas trees and initially learnt by trial and error, experimenting with different varieties of trees and the various techniques of growing, pruning and shearing. We spent three years at Plumpton Agricultural College gaining the experience and knowledge to help our business grow.
The History of Littledown Farm
Littledown Farm Today
Ten years later we were supplying trees to another local grower/retailer, even though they had ceased growing trees some 8 years earlier, but this fact was unknown to the local customers.
Although we supplied the trees, we were unhappy that another retailer was taking credit for our beautiful trees and also selling them on to the public at an extortionate price.
We decided it was time to sell our trees directly to the public, offering a service second to none with Christmas trees as fresh as nature intended straight from the plantations. Customers could even walk around the plantations and choose their own tree.
Just after the year 2000, we were able to offer Christmas trees in many different varieties, heights, shapes and sizes at basically near wholesale prices with freshness, quality and service second to none. We are well known in the area not only as a family (the Bakers) but as growers and suppliers of fresh, high quality produce. Now we have the reputation of supplying the highest quality trees directly to the public.
As a testament to the high quality of our trees, we have been chosen from amongst the many growers in the country to supply Kew at Wakehurst Place, part of Kew Gardens in London. We would say and have been told by many growers and retailers that we offer some of the very best trees available in the country together with old fashioned service, freshness and quality second to none.