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April 8, 2019 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Tractor rally raises £1300 for Midlands Air Ambulance

Deep snow for 2018 tractor rally

Yesterday, 88 members of The Bridgnorth Vintage Machinery Club (BVMC) arrived at Apley Farm Shop on their vintage tractors for their annual tractor rally. Only one breakdown & no snow this year- remember last year?!

Every year they fundraise for Midlands Air Ambulance & this year raised a fabulous £1300. We are already looking forward to next year’s rally on Sunday 29 March 2020. 

Please call David Spruce on 07986 17 07 15 with any enquiries.

Steve Watts of A Decent Exposure Photography took these super photos. 07446 140 448

March 25, 2019 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Celebrate Mothers’ Day at Apley Farm Shop

Flowers from Big Little Things in our shopping courtyard or plants from the Moongate Plant Centre

Celebrate Mothers’ Day on Sunday 31 March at Apley Farm Shop with BreakfastLunch or Afternoon Tea in our Creamery Cafe.
Book online by clicking HERE. Our menu, times & prices are all just here too. To summarise:


  • Breakfast 9:30-11:00am
  • Lunch 12noon, 1pm, 2pm or 3pm
  • Afternoon Teas in our Conference Room 12 noon, 2pm or 4pm
  • Afternoon Teas in our Cafe 4pm


Breakfast is £8.50 per adult or £5 per child.
Lunch for children is £10
Lunch for adults is £20 for 2 courses or £25 for 3 courses
Afternoon Teas are £20 per adult & £8 per child


Here’s our quick checklist of ways to treat your Mother !:

  • Apley Experiences make great Mothers’ Day presents
  • Our Food Hall has a selection of cards & presents (edible & non-edible) which can be bought online
  • Order her flowers from Big Little Things in the Apley Courtyard
  • Cook & eat at home – just pick up a Meal Deal from the Apley Butchery counter
  • Add a bottle of Prosecco & chocolates – just mention to our cafe staff
  • Not together this Sunday ? Buy her an Apley Gift Voucher
  • Fill you own hamper or order one online
March 6, 2019 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Fine Food Show of the North

Have you ever wondered how small producers of fine food & drink get their products spotted & ultimately sold in our food shops around the UK? Some brands were once ‘brand’ new to us, but are now familiar. One of the ways is The Speciality Fine Food Show in London in September & the Fine Food Show North (FFSN) in Harrogate in March. Both are organised by the wonderful Guild of Fine Food (GFF) who are largely responsible (with others) for facilitating the arrival of delicious food & drink into our homes. Think how much you like reeeeeally good food, how important it is in our lives, in making us happy & healthy.

I’ll be taking Lord Hamilton’s Apley Estate Smoked Pheasant to the Fine Food Show of the North 10-11 March for the first time, hopefully to successfully share with others my passion for it & the health benefits it can bring us all.

It’s smoked by multi award-winning MacNeil’s Smokehouse in Worcestershire, currently only sold in Apley Farm Shop in Shropshire but also available to anyone anywhere via ApleyOnline. Most importantly, it’s available in unlimited supply & all year round!

I’ll be on stand F12, a great corner & central location. It’s a trade fair for foodies & because it’s food, it’s fun too! Watch HERE what it’s all about.

March 1, 2019 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Hear local author at Pigg’s Playbarn, Sat 9 March

We’re welcoming local author Sarah Baker into Pigg’s Playbarn at Apley Farm Shop on Saturday 9 March 1pm. She will read from her first book, the Catalpult Kid, written for 3-6 yr olds. No need to book. Please be seated in our Conference Room by 12:45pm, above the Food Hall.

Any queries to 01952 581 002 or


February 21, 2019 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley Farming update

Food & farming are core to Apley Farm Shop, which is set in the heart of the Apley Estate (in Shropshire, UK) where our farming operations develop & progress every year. I will endeavour to continue to share notes on a range of food & farming issues such as vaccinations, fertilising, free range, alternative crops, food miles, Brexit, sustainability, soils, climate, fads & veganism.

Our farm manager Adrian Joynt, has just sent me this update which I thought may be of interest to our farm shop customers but also to other farms & estates.


Vaccinations are used to prevent disease & reduce antibiotic use. The need to vaccinate is confirmed by blood tests & veterinary advice. Cattle graze extensively on permanent pasture which is an environmentally friendly method of farming, as it contains a mix of grass species, herbs & wild flowers. The grass also acts as carbon sink. Herbicides are only used where necessary to control invasive weeds (docks, nettles & thistles) & poisonous weeds (ragwort). All the livestock manure is applied to the arable soils (ie spread in fields where wheat, oats or barley are growing) to return nutrients & organic matter to the soil.


These are applied to crops based on the soil type, previous use of organic manures & the crop requirements. All the arable fields have been mapped into one hectare blocks for the soil reserves of potash, phosphate, magnesium & lime. The fertiliser or lime is applied using precision farming techniques at variable rates to only the areas of the field that require it. The reasons for this are to avoid waste of nutrients by over-application, to maintain or increase crop yields by ensuring that there is adequate nutrition & to improve water quality.


Our cultivation strategy is mainly “min till” (ie. minimum cultivating before planting) or non inversion, by cultivating shallower & not inverting (turning it over) the soil. The result is that the soil structure improves, drainage improves & soil organic matter is maintained (soil organic matter is lost by oxidation when air is incorporated into the soil). The plough is used when there is a need to control grass weeds (grass seeds do not usually emerge from depth & degrade in the soil relatively quickly). Min till cultivation requires less power & fuel.

We  apply chicken muck & sewage sludge to improve the soils on the farms. This helps to maintain soil structure & moisture retention by raising the organic matter content, as well as providing valuable nutrients & trace elements.

Cover crops

Cover crops are grown on much of the land for spring cropping (ie. planting in the spring). These use nutrients (nitrogen, sulphur & phosphate) that would otherwise be leached out of the soil over the winter period & into the water courses & groundwater. The roots of these crops are useful in maintaining & improving soil structure. Firstly they penetrate the soil & then as they decompose they provide organic matter & channels for water to drain through.

A range of crops are grown in rotation to prevent the build up of disease, particularly soil borne diseases such as Club Root & Take All. Varietal selection (eg we can choose a different variety of wheat) of each crop is based on yield & disease resistance.

If you’ve found this interesting, look out for new posts on this blog & in our enewsletter. If you don’t get the latter, but would like to, just click HERE.

You can watch the farming year from our Skylark Nature Trail which is a free 45 min walk starting from & finishing in the car park at Apley Farm Shop (TF11 9EF).

December 17, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Charity Present Wrapping Service at Apley Farm Shop

Have you done your Christmas shopping, found your presents, but now have no time to wrap them ?! Try out the Charity Present Wrapping Service at Apley Farm Shop. Full details are right here:

What: We will wrap your presents bought in Apley Farm Shop or from elsewhere

Paper: Bring your own or we will use plain brown wrapping paper with ribbons

When: Wed 19, Thu 20, Fri 21, Sat 22, Sun 23 & Mon 24 Dec

What time: 12-2pm daily on the above dates or by appt

Where: Apley Farm Shop, TF11 9EF

Who: By sixth former, fundraising to build school in Malawi in July 2019

How much: Choose how long you want us to wrap for you, then select the time & day you’d like to come.

We will wrap as many of your presents as possible in your time slot:

  • £2 for 5 mins
  • £4 for 10 mins
  • £6 for 15 mins
  • £8 for 20 mins
  • £10 for 25 mins
  • £12 for 30 mins

Extras: £1 extra for real fabric ribbon

Booking needed? No need to book but if helps if you do. Just click HERE. See also form below. Just turning up is fine but we may be busy!

How to pay:

  1. Cash on arrival
  2. Card at cash till in Food Hall
  3. Pay when you book online in advance
  4. Pay with our PayPal button

How it works:

  1. We photo your presents
  2. We both sign a brief inventory
  3. We give you an estimated completion time
  4. You enjoy a coffee in the Creamery Café
  5. We text you when ready

The Charity: Joshua in Malawi,, Reg charity number: 111 47 27


Call: 01952 581 002 ext 6
Text: 07714 74 33 69

December 16, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley Experiences make great presents

One week to go & you still can’t find the right present ?! Apley Experiences make great presents for those who seem to have everything or for those who just prefer to do rather than to have.

Wrap up our lovely voucher in a gift box & give a present which will create lasting memories & give a new skill.

Our courses work around you. You register your interest, then we email you with a choice of dates. We then select the date which is most mutually convenient for all those wishing to attend.

Choose from Butchery, Bakery (bread or cakes), Cheese, Wine, Floristry or Pottery. In 2019, Apley Walled Garden tours will only be available on 1 & 15 May, 5 & 19 June. Please tell us if you’d like a gardening courses, so as soon as we can offer these, we can let you know.

£30 for 2hrs, led by local experts &/or our Apley Managers.

They’re available all year round & are perfect for individuals, friends or Local Interest Groups.

We suggest adding an Apley Afternoon Tea to make your day truly complete. £15.50 pp. Vouchers are available for these too.

Click HERE for the full list of Experiences (courses)

Click HERE to buy an Experience online

Click HERE to Register your Interest

Click HERE for full details in our Experiences brochure

To wrap it beautifully, we offer 2 optional extras:

  • Small gift box £2.50 with our Apley ribbon
  • Large gift box £3 with our Apley ribbon

Pick up our lovely brochure when next at Apley Farm Shop.

Any queries, please call or text 07714 74 33 69 or email

December 16, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Shop of the year finalist

Apley Farm Shop is Shop of the Year finalist. This is a very coveted award offered annually by the Guild of Fine Foods. We are unbelievably thrilled to be a finalist. Click HERE to watch again the film we submitted with our application, made for us by A Decent Exposure Photography.

Here’s our press release with more detail:

A local farm shop in Shropshire has been nominated as a finalist for a prestigious national award.

Apley Farm Shop, between Bridgnorth & Telford, entered for The Shop of the Year Award back in October & recently heard the great news that they’ve been selected as a finalist. The award is much coveted award amongst the UK’s top farm shops, offered annually by the Guild of Fine Foods.

Apley Farm Shop has entered the farmer owned farm shop category. There are five other award categories: Delicatessen & Grocer; Specialist Cheese Shop; Food Hall; Specialist food or drink shop; Newcomer. So the reach is broad across the food industry.

There are now over 300 farm shops across the UK which are now accounting for more & more grocery sales than ever before as customers seek local produce with provenance.

Judging for the award began in November and continues through to March when results will be announced.

General Manager John Wesley began “Our team of local staff are incredibly hard working and very committed to seeing the success of Apley Farm Shop. We would all be so proud to win this, but just being nominated as a finalist is wonderful in itself. We’ve now been open for nearly 8 years, so it’s super to see our hard work paying off as the business matures.“

Lord Hamilton, Apley Estate owner, added “We won the FARMA rising star award soon after opening in 2011 and have won many Greta Taste awards in the intervening years, notably for our hand-made mince pies, but this Shop of the Year award is the most prestigious as it looks at the whole business.

Lady Hamilton added “The Guild of Fine Foods was set up in 1995 to support & encourage artisan food producers & the retail outlets where their produce is sold. We fall into both groups as we sell our own produce as well as that of others.”

November 30, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley Tea Towels & mini hessian bags – great stocking fillers

My two favourite stocking fillers are our brand new £4 Apley Tea Towels & our mini hessian bags £2.45. The bags are perfect for presents (eg our Apley honey or Lady Hamilton jams) or carrying just your keys & mobile.

Everywhere I go, I carry with me some £5 Apley gift vouchers, so if I spot a customer carrying our large or small hessian bag, they receive one immediately ! It’s worth getting SPOTTED !

November 27, 2018 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley Christmas Market photos & films

Christmas turkey from Huxleys in Shifnal

Brand new – Apley Farm Shop tea towels make the perfect present, £4

Rachel Huxley offered tasters of her barn reared turkeys, near Shifnal. Know the provenance of your food & keep food miles very low !

The popular Pinckneys Gin – new into Apley Farm Shop this Autumn – local, from Worcestershire

Apley’s own handmade, award winning mince pies & full range of cakes from our own bakery

Chase vodkas from Herefordshire

Shropshire’s Bennett & Dunn rapeseed oil – our family favourite – here is Tracey Bennett

Droitwich Salt from Churchfields who also make our icecream – again from Worcestershire. The salt is now being used by some of the UK’s top chefs

Bradleys Tannery of Bridgnorth – who make this fabulous leather range in Bridgnorth & sell it all over the world

Christmas veg boxes are available from our Food Hall – which of course include Brussels Sprouts

Just thought I’d share a selection of photos from our 2018 Apley Christmas Market (24-25 Nov).

As always, a lovely atmosphere to begin the Christmas season. Lots of happy customers enjoyed show offers. Fabulous local suppliers attended. And phew, it didn’t rain !

All photos & films were taken Steve Watts of A Decent Exposure Photography.

Click HERE to watch our film of Saturday at the Apley Christmas Market 2018.

Click HERE to watch our film of Sunday at the Apley Christmas Market 2018.