Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
11:17 AM 14th July 2021

“Hedges, Fences, Flooding And More”

Rain showers across the East Fellside failed to dampen the enthusiasm of farmers keen to gain first- hand experience of the conservation work going on at Town Head Farm, Croglin.

Dave Smith - Farmer
Dave Smith - Farmer
Farmers from Alston to West Cumbria were welcomed by Kate Gascoyne from the Farmer Network. All enjoyed a guided farm walk looking at hedge-planting schemes to increase bio-diversity and livestock shelter, together with tree-planting in the least productive areas of the farm and some Natural Flood measures designed to reduce the risk of flooding in Croglin village below the farm.

Host farm Jim Campbell who only recently took over the farm, talked about his desire to maintain farm production but marry it with quality conservation work. Jenny Garbe of Eden Rivers Trust who worked with Jim to develop the scheme, described it as offering “multiple benefits” for the farm and the local community, now and in future.

The farmers also enjoyed informal discussions with several organisations looking at new funding streams and programmes coming forward, including Stewardship, Fellfoot Forward (LPS), ELM, The Princes Farm Resilience Programme currently being organised by the Farmer Network, and opportunities relating to farm carbon.

Local farmers were particularly interested in hearing about Farming in Protected Landscapes funding (FIPL). Emma Wright of North Pennines AONB who manages the Fellfoot Forward programme spoke of the funding opportunities that maybe available in the very near future for farmers working within the AONB area. The Fellfoot Forward LPS is a major project for people and nature which focuses on part of the North Pennines AONB in North East Cumbria and beyond to the river Eden

Dave Smith who farms at Knock near Appleby said of the event:
“We’re here to find out useful facts about these processes, but actually it has also been about engaging with people face to face. This is something we have been missing recently and is so much more valuable. It has been good to walk and talk with other farmers. We need more of this in these changing times”.

A second event with the same partners will take place on a farm at Hallbankgate on Thursday the 15th July. Farmers are advised to book a place with the Farmer Network via email Or tel: (01768) 868615