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National Trust farm for let for first time in over half a century

High Tilberthwaite Farm from the air C National Trust

[O]ne of the Lake District’s most iconic farms is up for let for the first time in nearly 60 years.

The National Trust’s High Tilberthwaite Farm is a traditional fell farm located north of Coniston at the head of the Tilberthwaite valley. The farm consists of 575 hectares of predominately fell land, a landlord’s flock of 479 Herdwick sheep, a Grade II listed farmhouse and a holiday cottage business.

Europe’s largest conservation charity, the National Trust, say this is a great opportunity for farmers who are passionate about both the heritage of upland farming in the Lake District, as well as helping a diverse range of natural habitats to flourish.

Herdwick sheep C National Trust and John Millar

John Moffat, General Manager for the National Trust in the South Lakes said: “This is the end of an era as our current tenants, whose family have farmed at High Tilberthwaite for over half a century, have decided to move on this autumn. They leave behind them a fine legacy for the next generation of farmer.

“We want to find a new tenant who is as passionate as we are about exploring nature friendly farming measures and conserving the heritage of the Herdwick breed, which is a huge part of the Lake District’s upland heritage.”

Farming is vital to the Trust’s approach to countryside management. Their aim is to work in partnership with farmers in the Lake District to continue traditional fell farming techniques whilst finding ways to enhance natural habitats.

Jeremy Barlow, Assistant Director of Operations for the National Trust in the Lake District said: “The future of farming and the environment are inextricably linked – they are reliant on each other to succeed. So, it’s not a case of supporting one at the expense of the other. We need both to thrive.

“We need the support of our farmers and want to help them in their businesses. That’s why we will work with them and explore how we make improvements together.”

The Trust believe that by working in partnership with farmers they will be in the best position to navigate the change that Brexit will bring and shape the future of farming, as well as playing a key role in preserving the heritage of Lake District upland farms.

Herdwick sheep are an integral part of that heritage. The National Trust has a landlord’s flock of over 21,000 mainly Herdwick sheep across the Lake District.

Will Cleasby, Farming Advisor for the National Trust in the Lake District said: “The current tenants at High Tilberthwaite have invested hugely in the development of the current Herdwick sheep flock. The National Trust is committed to the pivotal role of fell going, pure Herdwick sheep and their importance for World Heritage Status. It is our intention that the farm is maintained as a viable working unit and the Herdwick flock are integral to that.”

The National Trust say that the future tenants of High Tilberthwaite Farm have a great opportunity to develop a modern farm business in a changing environment. Anyone interested in finding out more can log onto www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/farms-to-let or call 015394 35599.

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