THE National Trust is hosting a ‘drop in clinic’ for anyone interested in taking on a National Trust farm in the Lake District. It is being held on Tuesday 14 May at J36 Rural Auction Centre near Milnthorpe.
With 20% of the Lake District National Park, including 90 farms in the Trust’s care, the charity says it is committed to supporting the next generation of farmers.
“We can’t look after the land without skilled farmers and, working with others, we need to support those who want to get into farming” explains the Trust’s Farming Adviser Will Cleasby.
“Farmers contribution to rural life, the maintenance of a nature rich, iconic landscape, and the care of livestock – including putting their heart and soul into breeding over multiple generations – can’t be underestimated.
“Six months ago we held a successful new entrants evening in Cockermouth with the Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association and the Federation of Cumbria Commoners and people asked for something similar in the south of the county. So next Tuesday (14 May) National Trust staff will be on hand to answer questions about getting on to the farming ladder and to discuss, in confidence, future opportunities with us.
Jeremy Barlow, the National Trust’s Head of Operations for Cumbria and North Lancashire, says the Trust remains committed to a future for their 90 working farms and the area’s traditional breeds of sheep and cattle. The Trust also wants hill farming and conservation to work together.
Mr Barlow says: “Top of a list of concerns from our tenant and farming advisory panels is the loss of traditional skills and what can be done to encourage and support new fell farmers. With less than 13% of UK farmers under the age of 45, there has never been a more important time to identify what help the next generation of farmers need. We are in a good position to help, through listening and making decisions with other key industry people.”
Booking for the J36 Auction Centre event is essential. People can register for a time slot by contacting Will Cleasby on 07767674455 or by emailing [email protected]