ONE of Wensleydale’s largest firms has acquired a Gloucester-based haulage firm expanding its UK operation.

Part of Metcalfe Farms, a multi-strand operation based at Leyburn, Metcalfe Farms Heavy Haulage Ltd has recently acquired Ellis Transport Ltd of Gloucestershire along with their customer base and fleet of trucks and trailers. Most of the staff will remain employed by Metcalfe’s. Some additional posts will be created locally, mostly in compliance. They are currently advertising for posts in vehicle maintenance and for a parts manager.

Brian Metcalfe said: “This was a good opportunity for us to take on an established operation and customer base in the West of England. It nicely dovetails into what we already do and enhances both our UK and International coverage.”

The three brothers, David, Brian and Philip Metcalfe, jointly run the whole operation, which was started by their grandfather in 1940. Four of their sons work at the firm, continuing the family-run enterprise into a fourth generation.

Proud to support their community, Metcalfe Farms is currently undertaking flood defence work at Bellerby, has given a space for the village green in Spennithorne, offered a field to Leyburn Junior Football Club and is one of the sponsors for Wensleydale RUFC.

At their main site, Washfold Farm, they have undertaken measures to offset the impact its businesses have on the environment by planting 6,000 trees, constructing 15 ponds, and have set aside 60 acres of “environmental focus areas” planted for wildlife and aquatic life. They have erected boxes that have seen the return of barn owls to the farm as a result of the above measures.

Their Bio Digester powers the whole site for electric and hot water and electric is exported to national grid, they also recycle more than 10,000m3 of rainwater each year and make extensive use of solar panels.

Today, it operates a sustainable agricultural operation with 1,300 cows milked three times daily. They have a concrete plant, aggregate sales and there is both a Wensleydale Vet’s practice and a Russell’s tractor dealership on site.

Along with Agricultural Contracting, Truck Technics, vehicle repair and painting, and the heavy haulage, the operation employs about 200 people at the Washfold Farm site in Leyburn with further staff at Gloucester and Southampton.