The farm was bought in 1958 by Joseph Reginald Newsham (Ken and Colin’s grandfather) of Sellerley Farm, Conder Green, for his eldest son William Ronald Newsham when he married Eleanor Burrow. Kenneth and Colin were born at the farm, have lived here all their lives and took over from their father.
80 pedigree British Friesian dairy cattle were milked twice a day; their young were reared for sale or to replace the old cows; and some of the young cattle, produced from a Belgian Blue bull, were sold for beef.
The first trial at diversifying was in 1992 with the creation of the fly fishing lake. Fishing was chosen because anglers were already coming to the River Conder and the lake was dug in a low-lying 4 acre field next to the River Conder. A lakeside lodge was built for use by the fishermen but proved to be more popular as a venue for meetings and management training, particularly with nearby Lancaster University.
Forrest Hills was established in 1996 as part of the ongoing diversification of Banton House Farm, when a second lodge was added and construction of the golf course began.
The last 20 years have been exciting, unpredictable and full of learning. The challenge continued with the construction and opening of the new Resource Centre in 2012. A unique Ecofriendly building where larger meetings and conferences can be held with excellent facilities.
In summer 2013 we took on a further challenge, beginning to hire out the new building for private functions and weddings aswell.