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HLF & You

The Work

This is a soft fruit farm and our strawberry, raspberry and blackberry crops are normally picked between April and November. Throughout the year we are busy growing and monitoring the crops; maintaining and sustaining our farm holdings.

Farm work is HARD WORK but rewarding! Much of the work on the farm is in teams or groups, and all tasks involve manual work including lifting, bending and twisting. Workers need to be fit and healthy, to be able to do the work.


The type of work includes:

We will give you training to start with and team leaders are always around to help you succeed. The busiest period on the farm is between May and August where we have up to 450 seasonal staff; but we do employ people for non-harvest work throughout the year.

Before arrival everyone receives our Welcome Letter, which gives more information about the farm, working conditions, available on site accommodation and a list of important items to bring.


"I first came to Hugh Lowe Farms in summer 2005 and I kept coming back since. Work on a farm is hard and you need to be very keen to learn to keep you going, but it’s all worth it as you can earn good money in a short period of time which for me, as a student back then, was very important.

Work at Hugh Lowe Farms has allowed me to travel to other countries, to finish my studies back at home, to learn new things, to buy my first laptop, camera and a car. And most important I met a lot of great people from different countries at the farm who have become my dear friends.

Needless to say the best are the social activities – BBQs, birthday parties, discos. Work is hard, but every weekend parties and money earned take over and make you want to return year after year!” Zane

 

 

Essentials

As one of our temporary seasonal workers, we want you to have a productive and enjoyable experience on the farm. We strive to pay competitive rates of pay and to offer plentiful work.

Many jobs including picking are paid using a piece rate. This means that the more you do, the more you can earn. Good pickers will earn considerably more than the National Minimum Wage.

When picking strawberries, raspberries or blackberries you will be expected to pick a targeted number of kilograms of berries per hour. The number of kilograms targeted will depend on the density of the crop, weather and time of season.

As the fruit needs to be picked in the cool of the day, work will often start at 5am.
Usually harvesting occurs five or six days a week, but due to the variability of weather, crop timing and customer demand working hours vary.

 

 

Facilities and Recreation

We have three campsites in operation throughout the season at Hugh Lowe Farms ranging from 45 – 300 people. Each has a Campsite Warden who is there to help you settle in and is your first point of contact if you have a problem. All our camps consist of temporary portable cabins, bunkhouses and converted buildings with shared bedrooms for 2 – 4 people. These all are mainly only for sleeping, some of them do contain cooking equipment. Otherwise shower and toilet facilities, kitchens and laundry rooms all are communal and shared by those staying on the camp. The kitchens are equipped with hobs for you to prepare your own meals, and the laundry facilities have coin operated machines.

We also have recreational facilities on each campsite, with common rooms equipped with televisions and various other equipment. We have a large games room located at Barons Place Campsite with table tennis and pool tables, but it is available for all campers to use. This room is used for regular parties and discos as well. We have WiFi access available for people bringing Laptops.

We do not encourage workers to bring their cars as parking spaces are very limited. Only cars with prior permission can be parked on site.


Every year we have a number of social events, ranging from BBQ's to discos and our now famous "HLF Big Bash" with live music performed by local bands in late July.

This year we took part in the 'Tugs of War' at the local village fete and won! We also organise trips to places of interest, the most popular being Thorpe Park.

If accommodation is available and you chose to stay on the farm you will require:
A sleeping bag, a single sheet and a pillow; working clothes for hot, cold and wet weather; wellington boots; suitable work shoes; towels; cooking pots, plates and eating utensils.

 

 

How Do You Work For Us?

We welcome applications from nationals of the EU member countries and Commonwealth countries (subject to work permit/visa holders only). Please complete the online application form below and then click the Submit button. We will then contact you. Apply online.

The Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) licensed by the UK Home Office is now closed. From January 2014 all potential EU workers including Bulgarians and Romanians, can work here without a SAWS permit.

We would prefer new applicants to apply through our approved agency HOPS Labour Solutions: www.hopslaboursolutions.com

Alternatively you can apply directly to the farm via this website, but we may re-direct you to HOPS in the first instance.

If you apply through an agency tell them you want to work at Hugh Lowe Farms and please also send us an email to tell us!

We accept applications for next season from October the year before.

 

 

Health and Safety

Hugh Lowe Farms Ltd is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all workers and visitors to the Farm.

The Health and Safety Committee meets monthly and is responsible for reviewing, updating and implementing the Health and Safety Rules and ensuring employees receive the relevant training for the machines/tasks they are operating. All areas of the farm are represented on the committee and employee representative attends by rotation.

Individual farm supervisors and team leaders are responsible for making sure Health and Safety Rules are followed by those working directly for them. All employees and contractors receive copies of the Health and Safety Rules plus updates and are responsible for following them personally.

 

 

Keeping In Touch

Many of our people end up as lifetime friends or more. So we have set up a Facebook group for Hugh Lowe Farms people to stay in contact with each other and to share photos and memories of your times spent here in the beautiful Kent countryside and your lives back home.

Please do not use this for any other purpose than to connect to friends - it is a closed group so if it is used for any other purpose we will be forced to shut you off.

So please use the site - wishing you all well for the future and if you want to come back please do, we loved having you.

Join our group on Facebook