This year marks an important milestone for our MD, Andrew Cotterill, and his family – they are celebrating 100 years of farming at Hermitage Farm in Wishaw, Sutton Coldfield.
Farming for centuries
Farming has been in Andrew’s family for centuries. His great-grandparents relocated to Hermitage Farm in 1919 after selling their previous home, Bricklyn Farm, also in Wishaw. Back then, Hermitage Farm was a considerably smaller farm at 33 acres and was located next door.
Image: Original sale catalogue for Bricklyn Farm
Andrew’s father, Brian Cotterill took over the management of the farm in 1969 and recalled: “My mother was only a young girl when she moved to Hermitage Farm. As it was a neighbouring farm, she didn’t have far to go so she told me she happily wheeled all her belongings down the road in her doll’s pram.
At the time, the plan was for my grandparents to retire to a smaller farm that was easier for them to manage but sadly my grandfather died in a bull attack just shortly after moving.”
Images: Photos taken in 1970s of Andy Cotterill (left), Brian Cotterill (right)
A lot has happened since the Cotterill family moved to Hermitage Farm – two world wars and a landscape that has changed both economically and visually. Back in 1919, the farm was much more remote and functioned as a mixed farm – they bred sheep, cows and poultry whilst using the land to grow wheat, barley and vegetables such as mangolds and swedes.
Over the years, the farm has had to adapt to the needs of the agricultural industry to survive. For example, in the 1960s they swapped their cows for pigs, whilst in the 1990s they invested in breeding welsh cob horses.
Images: Photos taken in 1970s of Hermitage Farm
Today, the farm remains a working mixed farm but it has also diversified, renting out its buildings to various businesses as well as being the HQ for our businesses – Cotterill Drainage, a leading civils and drainage merchants, and Cotterill Contractors, a trusted groundworks specialist.
At Hermitage Farm, you will find our trade counter, offices and yard, where we stock large quantities of our products. This includes land drainage, sewage treatment plants, rainwater harvesting, sewer pipe and stormwater attenuation.
Andrew Cotterill, commented: “It’s incredible to think that Hermitage Farm has been in my family for a century and this is our 100th harvest. It’s a massive cause for celebration and one we will be sharing with our friends and family in the coming weeks.”