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Farmers share secrets to award-winning diversification

Nibthwaite Grange Farm, near Ulverston – 1030am to 3pm Weds 27 November
John Atkinson and Maria Benjamin who are holding an information day at Nibthwaite Grange Farm on Wednesday 27 November.

NATIONAL Trust bare land tenants John Atkinson and Maria Benjamin are holding a free information day at Nibthwaite Grange Farm on Wednesday 27 November.

Anyone who is interested in learning about their award-winning enterprises and how diversification is paying off is welcome to attend. The event is one way the farming community can help each other respond to challenges facing the industry says the Lake District National Park Partnership.

The National Trust’s farming advisor Will Cleasby says that at a time of increasing pressure on traditional farm income streams farmers need supporting to look at options for adding value and diversifying to make the most of what the Lake District can offer. The charity has 92 Lake District farms.

Andrea Meanwell, Farming Officer for the Lake District National Park and organiser of the event said:

“There are many ways in which farming families can bring in additional income and we want to start sharing some good examples to inspire others. John and Maria are doing some exciting work on their farm. It’s this type of innovation that will help farmers adapt in these challenging times. Developing new enterprises can be fraught with risk and there is often the need to develop new skills as John and Maria will explain. This event aims to show what can be achieved through hard work and innovative thinking,” added Andrea.

Host farmers John Atkinson and Maria Benjamin won the Agriculture, Forestry and Farming section of the 2019 Cumbria Family Business awards for their Dodgson Wood enterprise. They explained what they hope people will get out of the day:

“Successful diversification for us is about making the best use of what you have, be that location, setting or getting the most value out of what you produce well. There are lots of opportunities out there but its easy to get lost in it all, hopefully at this event we can share with people some of our ideas and experiences.”

The event at Nibthwaite Grange (LA12 8BD) on the 27th of November starts with a farm walk at 10.30am. After lunch there will be a chance to look at the diversification enterprises with the afternoon ending at 3pm.

Places are limited so booking is essential by emailing Will Cleasby at [email protected] or by phoning him on 07767674455.

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