David Eglin

R M Eglin and Son Ltd

Sponsored by: SAI Global

David has kept a number of sheep breeds over the years, including Bleu du Maines and later Poll Dorsets, but his real interest is in Charmoise, sparked by buying two ewes in 1997. A trip to the Paris Show followed, buying the stock which became the foundation of his Bramain flock there. He has visited France every year since, up until the pandemic, buying rams to keep improving the flock and introduce new bloodlines. The flock now stands at more than 300 ewes and is performance recorded as David is a strong believer in the value of figures for continual flock improvement.

Most progeny is sold as breeding stock and David has developed a regular clientele, particularly for rams and this year he will be holding an on-farm sale for the first time. He believes the Charmoise is ideal for any farming system, saying: “Why have a big sheep when a small one, a Charmoise, which is easy lambing, will increase income due to low concentrate bills, but still produce a 21kg carcase lamb and reduce methane emissions?”

Alongside the sheep business David has also developed a number of diversification enterprises, the main one being caravan storage. David says: “We are planning to increase the caravan storage area but, as part of the new Environmental Land Management scheme, we will create strips of wild flowers and grass leys to increase biodiversity which can also be grazed at specific times with sheep.”

Future proofing the business

  • The site has an 80-metre borehole, making it self-sufficient in water
  • Solar panels have been installed with surplus electricity sold back to the grid
  • No chemical fertiliser has been used for 10 years
  • More than 4,000 trees have been planted
  • Strips of land, already home to a number of beehives, have been planted with wildflowers to increase biodiversity

The judges said: 

“David has consistently shown innovation over a number of years creating a sustainable business which has had a positive impact on the wider industry.”

On winning, David said: 

“I have been sheep farming for 62 years so it is pretty good to have won this award. It’s a breed that I have bought to the fore in the last 20 years. “