West Lancs Haylage is grown, packaged and supplied from Bullens Farm in Bickerstaffe, Lancashire in the North West of England. The West Lancs Haylage brand was created in 2005 by Barry Hurst, his father Tom Hurst and uncle, Robert Hurst. Since then Robert has retired, Olly Hurst joined the business in 2011 and Tom has semi retired (he still shows up sometimes to keep us in check!).
At West Lancs Haylage we take great pride in producing a superior quality Italian Ryegrass haylage. Over the years we have refined our growing and harvesting techniques, involved various agronomists and research centres, and continued to learn and develop the best ways to produce consistent superior quality haylage and at a great value price to our customers.
This attention to quality, combined with great customer service, has enabled us to grow an extremely loyal customer base throughout the North West of England and the country as a whole.
Our History - T. Hurst & Sons of Bullens Farm
Bullens Farm forms part of the Stanley Estate, owned by Lord Derby at Knowsley Hall. It is located just south of Ormskirk in a rural area called Bickerstaffe. The Hurst family have farmed this fertile West Lancashire land for generations, going back over 300 years.In recent generations the farm has focused on an arable rotation of crops which continues to this day, and it is this rotation that provides the foundation for producing our superior quality haylage.
Tom Hurst Snr (our Grandad) took over from his father during the war years, and grew an expansive mix of vegetables and cereals. When he started out they relied heavily on horses, particularly shire horses, for doing much of the field work. As a result of this there remains many beautiful traditional stables on the farm that have been well preserved over the years. With a lot of horses around a lot of good quality hay was needed, and this knowledge of growing grass for horses has been passed down the generations.
During the 1960's Tom and Robert joined the business, and over the following decade they upgraded many aspects of the farm such as installing state of the art grain bins and potato store, both of which are still used today (and remain extremely efficient methods of storing produce), and erecting a large packing shed which has proved ideal for preparing West Lancs Haylage bales today.
Barry attended Myerscough Agricultural College in Lancashire before joining the partnership in the early 2000's. At this point the farm's main crop was potatoes, as it had been for many generations, together with leafy vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflowers and cabbages. This was grown in a rotation with barley, wheat and of course hay.
In the mid 2000's Barry, Tom and Robert saw a demand in the growing equine market for small bale haylage, and decided to create West Lancs Haylage. With the advice and guidance of Tom's wife Jenny Hurst, who has an extensive background in owning horses and teaching riding to a high level, we were able to create a product that is grown to the best standards and is perfect for horses.
Around the time Robert and Tom retired, Olly Hurst joined the business in 2011, and together with Barry we have continued to grow the business into the success it is now. Today at Bullens Farm we continue to enjoy being an arable farm with both potatoes and haylage as our main crops now, as well as barley, wheat and occasionally sprouts or carrots.