Coast Ridge Farm

Owned by: Keith and Nuala Knight
Brand: FB
Land area: 12539 hectares
Number of Sheep: 3967
Breed: Polwarth/Merino

Coast Ridge is located at Fox Bay East, on the West Falklands. It is a linear farm, approximately 13 miles long and 7 miles wide at the widest point.  It was purchased by Keith’s parents in 1984 after the larger farm had been subdivided.

After leaving school, Keith worked for a number of years on a much larger farm on West Falklands; gaining experience before moving home and managing the family farm.  Nuala moved to the Falklands in 2006 to work for the local development corporation. They met and were married at Fox Bay in 2011.

In 2013, Keith & Nuala purchased the farm. Since then they have had three young daughters, who enjoy helping out on the farm when they are not in school.

Coast Ridge has been fenced extensively since it was purchased, with over 160 km of fencing being erected, including a ‘race’ leading from many important camps directly to the modern shearing shed built in 1987 by Nigel Knight, in Fox Bay settlement.

The shearing shed was built with a raised board and can accommodate a four stand if required. Since purchasing Coast Ridge, Keith & Nuala have replaced the aging Sunbeam shearing motors for Heiniger Evos, increasing performance and safety for the contract shearers employed. The building is clean and well lit, with adequate sheep holding space for up to 1000 sheep. There is a large wool handling area and clearly labelled bins for fleece wool. Coast Ridge has been Quality Falkland Wool accredited for many years. All young sheep and females are crutched and eye locked, and all wool exported in nylon woolpacks.

When not in use for shearing, the building has also been used for wedding dances and children’s parties as well as the West Falkland Ram and Fleece show, which has been running annually for 34 years. Here, farmers from around the Falkland Islands showcase their best rams and fleeces.  Coast Ridge are successful participants themselves in the show and have taken home many rosettes and prizes over the last years.

Coast Ridge is, by Falkland standards, a fine wool sheep farm, producing approximately 9000 clean kilos of wool per annum, with an average micron 21.2. The average micron of their hoggs was 17.2. This has been achieved over many years by a rigorous indexing program, as well as select genetic material from the National Stud flock and Embryo Transfer & Artificial Insemination programs, using imported genetics from Australia, in an aim to meet the farm’s breeding objectives.

As well as sheep, they have a herd of 120 mainly Angus cattle.  They supply weaners to other farmers for finishing before supplying the Falkland Islands Meat Company.

To improve the safety of their stock Keith continues an extensive ditching programme at Coast Ridge removing the risk of animals becoming stuck in the natural small ditches that run throughout the Falkland Island farm land. The spoil from these ditches are heaped to allow shelter for stock, with pipes being placed to allow safe crossings and ditches ‘dammed’ to increase water retention during dry periods in the summer.

They also invested in a direct drill for no till planting of crops to ensure animals have enough quality feed throughout the winter months.  Where erosion has taken place on their farmland, tussock has been planted to lessen any further erosion. There are over 2,000 hectares of land fenced off that have not been stocked, to restore the habitat and allow native plants to flourish in those areas. Alongside the farm work, Keith and Nuala run a successful tourism business with 2 cottages situated in the settlement that they rent out for self catering and full board accommodation.  Coast Ridge has an abundance of wildlife, a trout river, scenic walks and beautiful coastlines.  They also offer farm tours where visitors get an overview of farming in the Falkland Islands.