Farming entrants asked to make their voices heard.

Those who want to farm in the Lake District in the future are being asked to make their voices heard.

The organisers of an event at the Lakeland Livestock Centre in Cockermouth, on Wednesday 12 December would like to hear what support those who are new to farming need.

The National Trust, the Lake District National Park Authority and Mitchells Livestock Auctioneers & Valuers are behind the initiative, as the Trust’s Farming Adviser Will Cleasby explained:

“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,” added 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 a future for its 90 working farms and the area’s traditional breeds of sheep and cattle. And to making hill farming and conservation work together.

“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,” said Jeremy Barlow. We are in a good position to help, through listening and making decisions with other key industry people” added 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, Cockermouth at 7pm and light refreshments will be provided.  Booking is essential, to register please contact Glynis Carr on 01912558651 or email Glynis.carr@nationaltrust.org.uk

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