Farm shop closes and no ‘pick your own’ at Tulleys

Peter Mansfield-Clark and Stuart Beare ENGSUS00120121219093423
Peter Mansfield-Clark and Stuart Beare ENGSUS00120121219093423

Tulleys Farm at Turner’s Hill, near Crawley, has closed its farm shop and will not open a Pick Your Own field this year.

The decision to close the shop was made in favour of areas of the business that are seeing strong growth, said owner Stuart Beare.

He added: “We have also decided not to open the PYO field this year. It has fallen out of favour in recent years and has become an increasingly marginal aspect to our business which few people undertake.”

Tulleys Farm was started by Stuart’s grandfather more than 80 years ago.

Stuart said the business had “evolved and diversified to meet the needs of changing times”.

He added: “We introduced Pick Your Own in the 1970’s and were one of the early innovators in opening a farm shop in the 1990s.

“We continued to diversify the business opening the Tea Rooms in 1996, and were one of first places in the UK to open a maize maze attraction. We pioneered the Halloween Shocktoberfest Scream Park concept over a decade ago which has now grown to be the biggest event of its kind in the country.

“Together with Easter and Christmas we now welcome over 100,000 visitors a year to our calendar of seasonal family events.

“Although there is strong growth in many aspects of the business and new opportunities opening up, one area that has been struggling to hold its own is the farm shop.

“The difficult economic conditions over the last five years and increased competition from supermarkets has eroded margins.

“We contracted out the operation of the farm shop 15 months ago.

“Sadly that hasn’t worked out for our partner who, after difficult trading over Christmas, has decided to pull out of the farm shop.”