Mt Somers Station is the family property of David and Kate Acland. Together they run the 3800ha farm that runs from the Ashburton River, at an altitude of 400m, to the boundary of the conservation park at the base of the Mountain, an altitude of 700m.
Mt Somers Station runs over 13,000 breeding sheep, 3000 deer, 1300 dairy cows, and 200 head of beef cattle. The property also includes 500ha of native vegetation and beech forest which has been retired from grazing. This vegetation provides ample food source for the 400 hives on the property producing manuka and honeydew honeys in addition to the clover honey produced from the lower terraces. The Station has 12 full time staff, most of whom live on the property.
David’s great-great Grandfather JBA Acland originally took up Mt Somers Station, and a number of other Canterbury runs, in 1856 with his business partner Charles Tripp. In 1861 they dissolved the partnership with Acland retaining Mt Peel Station to the south and Tripp taking Orari Gorge and Mt Somers Stations. The families of Acland and Tripp have farmed Mt Peel and Orari Gorge Stations since this time, however Mt Somers Station was sold in 1862 to Tripp’s brother-in-law Charles Cox.
For the next century, Mount Somers Station had various owners, but, for the most part, the Acland family remained closely associated with the property.
The Station originally included almost the entire of Mount Somers and bounded the Staveley Bush, however in the 1970’s the lease on the majority of the bush and mountainous area was retired and the land became part of the national conservation estate.
In 1983, the current owners sold two-thirds of Mt Somers Station to David’s parents Mark and Jo Acland. The family moved from Mt Peel Station where Mark had been farming in partnership with his brother. The property was relatively underdeveloped with limited housing and no deer fencing. Mark undertook a massive development program and the first deer were brought to the property in August 1983 at a time when deer farming in NZ was in its infancy. Mark and Jo purchased the remainder of the Station in 2002, the same year David returned home.
Lambs Wool Blankets
Each year on Mt Somers Station around 15,000 lambs are born. All sheep remain outside on predominantly grass pastures for the entirety of their lives. Lambs remain with their mother for 2-3 months before they are weaned and grown out for market.
The bulk of Mt Somers Station lamb is supplied for export with the largest markets for NZ lamb being the UK and China.
Each year Kate and David shear 6000-8000 of their lambs, the fleece is slightly finer than the main ewe fleece and is perfect for use in lambs wool blankets.
The wool is scoured (cleaned) locally then sent to Wellington for spinning and finally Auckland for weaving. They are incredibly proud to be producing these blankets entirely in NZ.
The blankets are beautifully soft and a generous size (180cm x 150cm) making them perfect as a comforter for a double/queen bed, a sofa throw or to keep in the car as a travel rug. A quality blanket that will last for generations.
Sheep on the Station are also shorn and the wool is used for carpets and heavier textiles.