WITH VIDEO: A historic farm has welcomed nearly 700 new tenants onto its land and its first sheep farmers for more than 70 years.

The family of farmers made Saddlescombe Farm near Brighton, cared for by the National Trust, their permanent home and brought 692 sheep with them to fill the farm's 440-acres.

Camilla and Roly Puzey moved 306 ewes, 296 lambs, 76 ewe lambs and eight rams, their two children Molly and Freddie, Belle the working dog and Boris the pet dog from Oxfordshire, making it the first time sheep farmers have lived on the farm since 1942.

The couple, and their livestock, will be working with the National Trust to make Saddlescombe a working farm once again after coming through a rigorous selection process.

Camilla and Roly said: “We are so excited to be here at Saddlescombe Farm.

“We look forward to working with the National Trust to make this beautiful working farm a haven for wildlife and to welcoming visitors to share it with us.”

The pair had been farming in Oxfordshire for four years before moving south, and Roly admitted he still calls his farming pals for advice.

He said: “I don't think you ever stop learning as a farmer, but I'd like to think that the calls have got more infrequent in recent years.”

The farm's main income is meat, and people knowing their produce is something Roly thinks is still important to consumers.

Roly added: “People buying meat in supermarkets are shopping blind, they don't know where the meat has come from.”

Wool production only just covers the cost of shearing for the farm, but it's still an age-old tradition the family upkeep.

Roly said: “The main buyers now are casinos in Las Vegas. Because their carpets need to be cleaned regularly and intensely, sheep wool is one of the only fibres that can withstand it.”

Despite having to run a fully-working farm and caring for eight-month old Freddie and two-year old Molly, who started nursery yesterday, Camilla and Roly are keen to invite members of the public onto the land.

They will be reaching out to the community to help carry out some much-needed work on the farm in preparation for cattle arriving in early 2014 through the Farm Buddies scheme.

The pair are also hoping to make their Shepherd for the Day initiative a hit in Sussex as it was in Oxfordshire, where groups or individuals can come to the farm to experience a day in the life of a sheep farmer.

The family would like to thank the National Trust for giving them the opportunity to farm the land. 

For more information, visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/saddlescombe-farm-and-newtimber-hill/ or www.camillaandroly.co.uk.