Welcome to the Harrison Spinks Farm. The journey to hand make each of our expertly crafted mattresses does not start on a production line, instead they start life here at Hornington Manor in North Yorkshire, just 18 miles from our factory in Leeds.
In 2009 Harrison Spinks purchased Hornington Manor with its Grade II listed 18th century house, associated buildings and 300-acres of arable and pasture farm land. The vision for the farm was to keep sheep and grow hemp and flax, thus providing natural, locally sourced superior fillings for mattresses.
Meet Harrison, Colin, Alfie, James and their woolly friends who graze the lush green pastures of the farm and exchange their fleeces annually so Harrison Spinks mattresses can be sumptuously filled. Not all wool is suitable for upholstery fillings, which is why only the very best wool fleeces are selected for their springy and resilient properties.
Zwartbles, Suffolk and Texel sheep are bred as they produce the best wool for making mattresses. Wool is a totally sustainable natural mattress filling, which can be fully recycled at the end of the mattress’ life. The farm does not employ any pesticides or fertilisers on the pastureland that the sheep graze on.
A good microclimate is key to a good night’s sleep. Using natural fillings, rather than man-made foam and polyester in these beds helps to wick away moisture and keeps your body at a suitable temperature while you sleep.
In October 2016, we introduced a flock of rare breed Wensleydale sheep to the farm, in an effort to help prolong the breed’s life and provide a sumptuous new mattress filling. Originating from North Yorkshire in the 19th century, this striking longwooled breed of sheep, are categorized as ‘at risk’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust of the UK, with fewer than 1500 registered breeding females. In spring 2017 we successfully welcomed our first new Wensleydale lambs to the world.
As well as sheep, the farm is also home to our Angora goats Bea, Daphne and Belle as well as Boris and Obama our Alpacas. The fleece from the Angora goat is superb at regulating body temperature but is softer and has a more luxurious feel than sheep’s wool. A single goat produces between four and five kilograms of hair per year. Angoras are shorn twice a year, unlike sheep which are only shorn once. Alpaca fleece is finer and softer than wool, containing less lanolin. Our alpacas really come into their own in the springtime when they keep watch over our new born lambs in the field and help to scare off foxes.
Father and son team, Gary and Liam McPartland rear the animals and farm the land growing hemp and flax for our natural filling blends. Of course, 300-acres of farmland cannot yield enough wool and fibre crops to fill all of our luxury mattresses, so we source additional wool from the British Wool Marketing Board in Bradford and other local Yorkshire farmers grow hemp crops for us too.
Using locally grown natural fibre crops and wool lessens the impact on the environment by dramatically reducing CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions.
Rich Yorkshire soil, rain and sunshine create the perfect conditions to grow luxury hemp and flax linen from seed. In late summer, the lush green hemp and cobalt blue flax are harvested, matured and threshed to produce wonderfully soft and absorbent fibres for our mattress fillings.
Flax and hemp are super-strong, and also more absorbent than cotton. This helps regulate mattress temperature by helping to keep you cool and dry.
The hemp and flax linen fibres used in all of our mattresses are totally recyclable at the end of the mattress’ life.
Hemp is resilient, durable and excellent for temperature regulation. Growing hemp on the farm and processing 100% of other local crops ourselves on the farm not only guarantees the quality of this filling; it also significantly reduces the impact on the environment in the production of our fine beds.
Hemp takes approximately 4 months to grow and is very environmentally friendly
The aim of our farm is not commercially driven, which means we have wide field margins, our pet lambs are bottle fed by hand and we work closely with Natural England and the RSPB. Wildlife is improved and protected on the farm by preserving ancient hedgerows and creating wild flower fields and borders.
Over the last 10 years, the insect, bird and animal population on the farm has improved due to the sustainable and environmental management of the natural ecosystem. Bird boxes and tables are positioned around the farm to encourage tit families, finches and owls. The hedgerows are carefully maintained to afford wildlife continual protection, providing nesting and feeding environments for an array of insects and small animals.
Other activities include building otter holts on the banks of the River Wharfe, engineering wetland scrapes for wading birds and providing natural cover for wild deer, foxes, badgers and a variety of other natural British species.
An RSPB survey recorded 58 different types of birds on the Harrison Spinks farm, including 11 on the threatened species list.
Richard Bramley, Local farmer and farm consultant
The wide variety of habitat management on the farm greatly improves the biodiversity of the area, the results of which can be seen from the thriving wildlife in and around the farm.