Growing the next generation of Lake District farmers

Herdwick sheep grazing near Rosthwaite, Cumbria

Looking to farm in the Lake District? Tell us and other key organisations about how we can help you and the challenges you face at a new entrants event at Cockermouth Auction Mart on Wednesday 12 December.

It is being hosted by the National Trust, the Lake District National Park Authority and Mitchells Livestock Auctioneers & Valuers with other organisations attending.

We would like to hear what support those who are new to farming need, as National Trust Farming Adviser Will Cleasby explains: “Farmers, and their centuries old traditions of hill farming, are one of the reasons why the Lake District National Park became a World Heritage Site. For this to continue farmers need support in a time of unprecedented challenge for the industry. As we leave the European Union subsidies will be replaced by payments rewarding farmers for delivering public benefits. 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 in Cumbria and the Lake District need,” adds Will who is also a farmer.
David Hall, the NFU’s Regional Director said: “Focussing on the next generation of future tenants is a great idea. We all need to ensure we equip them with all the skills required to run a successful farm business from business planning and people management, as well as traditional skills.”

Attending the meeting is the National Trust’s assistant director for the North of England, in charge of operations in Cumbria. Jeremy Barlow says the Trust remains committed to doing whatever it can to support a future for all its working farms in the Lake District. The Trust wants to see farming and conservation working together and traditional breeds thriving. “Top of a list of concerns coming out of our tenant and farming advisory panels is the loss of traditional skills and what can be done to encourage and support new fell farmers,” says Jeremy Barlow. We are in a good position to help, through listening and making decisions with other key industry people” adds Jeremy.

Briony Davey, Farming Officer for the Lake District National Park said: “Farming is critical to the future of the National Park and a key reason why we are a World Heritage Site.  Many farmers in the National Park have raised concerns over the lack of support and opportunity for the next generation. We are keen to hear from those interested in farming in the Lake District in the future, to listen to their needs and work together to support them to develop successful businesses.”

The meeting is being held in the Fairfield Restaurant at the Lakeland Livestock Centre, also known as Cockermouth Auction Mart Cockermouth at 7pm. Light refreshments will be provided.

Please register by Mon 10 Dec by emailing or calling 01912558651