Lime Tree Farm in Grewelthorpe was bought by the Foster family in 1972. Peter Foster's Father, Jack was born in the village and had always regarded it as a special place. Jack enjoyed 35 years back at Grewelthorpe before passing away aged 94 in 2007.
Peter and Irene were married in 1979. The farm was originally used for dairy cattle, but when the Fairy Produce Quota Regulations were introduction in 1984, it was decided to change the direction of the farm. And so, Horse livery and Farmhouse Bed & Breakfast became the new way of life for Peter and Irene.
The herd walking up Hutts Lane, early 1980s
Over the years, the farm turned more and more towards nature conservation and landscape enrichment. Combining Peter's love of natural history and ancient history, it was decided that the turn of the new millennium was a good time to build a stone circle to mark the Summer and Winter Solstices, the Equinoxes and the Quarter days throughout the year. People came from far and wide wanting to help with the project, including longstanding friends of the Fosters, Barbara and Brian who designed the stone circle and carved the characters in to the stones. The circle took a year to build, and no mechanised equipment was used. Once the stone circle was completed it was decided to build a replica Iron age Round House. This would prove to be very popular as a focal point for visiting groups.
Each year, more bird and bat boxes are provided to continue helping our native wildlife. The birds, bats and pond life are all carefully monitored. We have created four wildlife ponds some of which are home to rare Greater Crested Newts (and there has been evidence of the elusive Otter too). We also have an artificial Badger Sett with IR cameras monitoring activity. Over the years the cameras have recorded Badgers, Foxes, Hedgehogs, Ferrets, and Rabbits.
Since 2012 over one thousand new trees have been planted on site. Our most recent project was the building of an Astronomical Observatory which houses a 600mm reflecting telescope. Lime Tree Farm is fortunate to reside under dark skies and the observatory has been very popular with the visiting public.
Peter's brother David, who left the farming partnership in the 1970s now spends his retirement between North Yorkshire, North Wales and the South of France. Peter's Sister Ann Cliff moved to Australia some years later. She now has a beef suckler herd and is a prolific author.