The farm

Wakelyns is an organic rotation agroforestry farm in Suffolk UK – one of the longest-established and most diverse of its kind. 

Our 56 acres are divided by rows of trees into cropping alleys 12, 14 or 18 metres wide. This year we are growing YQ and Q wheat (developed at Wakelyns – see the explainer), lentils, chia, oats, peas, and squash in the cropping alleys. In the tree rows are nearly 50 varieties of apples, pears, quinces, cherries, walnuts, hazelnuts, along with trees for timber and coppiced willow and hazel for thatching and biomass fuel. 

With its trees, its biomass boiler, its photovoltaic solar panel and its ground source heating, Wakelyns celebrates its farming and ecological diversity and its contribution to tackling climate change. Wakelyns sits as an oasis within the Suffolk countryside, surrounded by huge fields growing monoculture crops, mostly for animal feed and overwhelmingly dependent on agricultural chemicals.

The history

The Wakelyns farmhouse dates back to about the 16th century and the farm itself has no doubt changed many times over the centuries. From 1994, Ann and Martin Wolfe established and ran Wakelyns as an organic rotation agroforestry research centre. The Wolfe’s plans were always ambitious and driven by sound scientific research and a profound concern food consumers as well as growers.

The palpable excitement in Ann and Martin’s voices is reflected in their many maps and planting plans for the farm. There’s a small archive here

Following Ann’s death in 2016 and Martin’s in 2019, the next generation of the Wolfe family wants to keep Wakelyns as a pioneer of sustainability, growing and developing grains, pulses and other important foods.

The family are gently shifting the focus to make Wakelyns a demonstration centre for the benefits and beauty of agroforestry, while also bringing a wider range of people to enjoy the things which make Wakelyns such a special place.

[family photos: “Wolfe family 2015” and “Wolfe grandchildren 2019”] 

– can evolve later when accommodation is on-stream

Maps of the farm

Compoasite graphic with link to Maps and plans page

Planting plan archive

Compoasite graphic with link to Planting plans page

Wakelyns 2020 – building on the past

It’s not just about the history here at Wakelyns. We have exciting plans to take the farm into a new era in which we hope to influence food and farming practice for the best through our links and collaborations across the organic, scientific, farming, food, baking, restaurant, environmental, ecological and political communities, locally and across the UK and beyond.

Led by Ann and Martin’s sons David and Toby, we are also developing other activities which support and celebrate the farming and food production at Wakelyns. Plans include returning vegetable growing to Wakelyns, housing a bakery, and creating accommodation to make Wakelyns a hub hosting courses and similar activities, as well as welcoming visitors and holiday makers.