Leicester Creek Farm

Owned by: Justin and Nadia Knight
Brand: KL
Land area: 16200 hectares
Number of Sheep: 4200
Breed: Merino

Both Justin and Nadia were brought up on farms located on West Falklands. After leaving boarding school in Stanley, Justin first leased Leicester Creek in 1998 at the age of 19 before purchasing it in 2008. After further education in the United Kingdom, Nadia spent 2 years working as a wool handler in the Falklands and also traveled to Australia and Italy before moving to Leicester with Justin in 2015. They were married in 2016.

Like many Falkland Island Farmers, they recognize the impacts of global warming and use a wind turbine and solar panels for their power needs.  These renewables cater for the majority of power from September through to May. The dwelling has all double glazed windows and the house is heavily insulated. All lights in the house, shearing shed and warehouses are LED and they have recently introduced LED solar powered street lights. Smaller solar panels are used for any electric fences situated around the farm. The water supply comes from a natural spring that is gravity fed from storage tanks to all their domestic, horticultural and agricultural requirements.

All ages of sheep are rotated throughout the year. Justin and Nadia do this so sheep can always be on fresh pasture and land is also spelled and not over grazed.  Hoggs are brought in in the autumn to be eye locked and crutched. They have moved to pre-lamb shearing over the last few years, to increase the strength of the wool from their ewes.

They have carried out some small scale AI with Donne Merino. Annual purchases of rams from the National Stud Flock and a neighbouring farmer have reduced their micron. – their hogget micron was 23.5 when Justin bought the farm and he has worked hard to bring it down to 19.2. They are currently working on reducing the CV too, with purchases of different animals and selection. 

Prior to shearing, all adult sheep are sorted into their age groups to help lessen the time sheep spend in pens after shearing. Sheep are released directly from shearing into large holding paddocks.

Trees are planted annually around the settlement to provide shelter for newly shorn sheep and animals brought in from grazing.  We continue this program annually, slowly increasing numbers. We aim to start planting on older reseed areas to assist with soil stabilization, shelter for native grasses and ground nesting wildlife. 

Tussac has been planted in areas where erosion has taken place on a small scale with varying results. They have carried out some trials with native grasses in areas and have chosen a variety to plant in the spring in one of their conservation areas. 

In winter 2020, Leicester Creek shearing shed was extended, creating more space for extra bins as classing habits change. The shearing board/wool preparation area has been modernized and redesigned, with insulation, lighting and ventilation added to lessen the stress on the sheep. Extra holding areas have been concreted and made animal friendly in case there is any inclement weather. Further health and safety measures have also been introduced for the shearer and wool handlers, with a comfortable tea room being an extra addition.

The majority of their food is catered for on farm, included farm raised mutton, beef and pork, and home grown fruit and vegetables grown in poly tunnels. 

They have also cleared the majority of ditches within their lambing and young sheep grounds to make a safer environment with ease of access to fresh water with shelter from overburden landscapes.