6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Kent Life today CLICK HERE

A day in the life of a Fish Farmer

PUBLISHED: 20:29 08 June 2014 | UPDATED: 08:01 09 June 2014

Day in the life of a fish farmer

Day in the life of a fish farmer

Manu Palomeque 07977074797

Paul Davis from Harrietsham on being the only fish farm in Kent producing for the table, scientific feeding and Ghurkha soldier fans

Name: Paul Ree Davis

Job title: Fish farmer

Where:

Parkwood Trout Farm, Harrietsham

How old is the farm?

My father, Colin Davis, started the farm in 1972. Initially we rented the site but bought it 10 years later. We produce brown and rainbow Trout.

The farm is about seven acres – I often refer to it as ‘our back garden’ – it’s my wife Alison who looks after most of the gardening and makes it such an appealing spot.

How does it work?

We rear brown and rainbow trout. We used to rear rainbow from eggs but now we buy in fish when they are about two-and-a-half inches long. It may surprise some readers – they are sold by weight and we get about 100 to 1lb; at this stage they are sufficiently hardy to go outside.

We also buy in some brown trout but rear many of our own from eggs because ours are a particularly attractive strain. We produce about 25,000 eggs which are stripped out in November – sufficient for about three years. They go into a fibre glass trough with water constantly cascading over them to supply oxygen and they hatch in 50 days. Brown trout take twice as long to mature as the rainbows.

What age did you start farming?

From the age of 14 I was involved in one way or another, however, when I left school I opted for an apprenticeship in a completely different industry. I joined my father when I was 25 and became the senior partner when he died in 1999. The other partner is my mother, Brenda Davis.

What has your training been?

It has been a learning-on-the-job process from when I was young.

Describe a typical working day

I am sure that everyone starts by saying that every day is different, but every day is busy! Some jobs have to be done daily. For example, the fish are fed early in the morning and again in mid-afternoon. We give them a pelleted high-protein food that is especially produced for trout.

The formula for feeding is scientifically based on the number of fish, their average weight and the water temperature, the latter because their metabolism increases when the water gets warmer.

As with any business, there is always maintenance, for example, the screens become blocked with leaves and grass and they must be unblocked. Fulfilling orders takes up quite a lot of time and some days I prepare fish for smoking and there is a regular stream of shoppers.

How do you market?

You may be surprised to learn that we never advertise, as it isn’t necessary. We restock syndicates, clubs, private waters and so on. We also have a shop which is open Thursday-Sunday inclusive.

I believe we are now the only fish farm in Kent producing for the table and we sell a mixture of fresh and smoked fish. We have quite a few regular clients among who are increasing numbers of Ghurkha soldiers and their families; they love fish.

Marks out of 10 for job satisfaction?

Like all forms of farming, there are bad days when, for a variety of reasons, things don’t go quite right. Excluding those, it is hard work but it’s a way of life I enjoy. It’s a 10 for sure.

GET IN TOUCH

Parkwood Trout Farm, Goddington Lane, Harrietsham ME17 1JX, 01622 859302

More from Kent Life

William Boscawen on why he’s loving making the world’s oldest alcoholic drink

Read more
January 2019

With high-speed rail links, a rejuvenated high street and £590m worth of investment in new developments, Ashford’s expansion continues

Read more
January 2019

Whether it’s in our professional or personal lives, sometimes we could all do with a little direction and clarity. Meet four inspirational life coaches

Read more
January 2019
Thursday, January 10, 2019

The elusive snowdrop can be hard to find and before you know it, they’re gone again, so we saved you the trouble and found some beautiful spots in Kent to go for a walk among the snowdrops

Read more

This scenic small town is regularly voted one of the best places to live in the country. Here’s why

Read more
January 2019

Winner of Kent Life’s Restaurant of the Year 2018, family run The West House in Biddenden has now extended its charms with the addition of four guest rooms

Read more
January 2019
Tuesday, January 8, 2019

A series of special events and activities will run in 2019 to celebrate the 900th anniversary of ‘the loveliest castle in the world’

Read more
January 2019
Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Our selection of top events and diary dates for this month in Kent

Read more
Monday, January 7, 2019

Thinking of moving to or within Kent? Every month we pick three stunning houses for sale that we’re sure you’ll love

Read more

Catherine’s subject matter is a very personal response to her surroundings

Read more
December 2018

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
Kent Life Food & Drink awards 2016. Open for entries.

Latest Competitions & Offers

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life