The Oaks Poultry Farm, on Common Lane, Ditchling, has been run by the Perrett family for over 50 years. Mark Perrett built the farm with his wife, Audrey, from an empty field he purchased in 1969 to what you see today. Mark’s love of poultry animals started early on when he had a pet turkey as a young teenager. Since then, the business has grown and flourished.
Although Mark started with chicken and turkeys, hence the name, he quickly expanded into farming pigs and cows. However, we continue to specialise in turkeys, geese, ducks and capons for Christmas.
All the meat from the farm is sold through our farm shop, along with other local products, including Sussex Crips, Buxted Apple juice, locally made pies, honey, cheese, chutney, jam, marmalade and flour.
Edward, the eldest son, and his wife, Katy, (supported by his brothers Neil and James and their families) joined the family business in 2018. Edward had 10 months working alongside his father, until sadly Mark died suddenly of a heart attack. It was a big shock for the family, but we all felt at peace with God’s timing in calling him home. Audrey was amazing as she dealt with becoming a widow and continuing to run the farm shop. It was a massive learning curve for Edward from being an accountant at Sky Television for 20 years to becoming a farmer, but God has blessed the family with the right people to assist us.
The vision for the farm is to create an environment for the local community to enjoy themselves in, and families to spend time together. Mark had 3 branches of his business – the farm shop, business unit rental and caravan storage. We have recently added a café/tea room (run by Katy), a campsite for the summer and a small children’s farm.
The café specialising in home made cakes and locally sourced coffee, opened on 1st June 2019. Our customers enjoy the produce in a friendly atmosphere with both inside and outdoor seating areas.
The children’s farm, opened last year, aimed at anyone who loves looking at farm animals. We have an indoor area with a large sand pit, seating area, small animals, including guinea pigs, rabbits, harvest mice and hatchery for chicks and ducklings, then an outside walkway to see pigs, ducks, geese, goats, donkeys and array of poultry animals.
We look forward to welcoming to our farm soon.